JUMP TO:

BUY NOW:

  • Amazon.com
  • Clever Training
  • REI
  • Wiggle

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT In-Depth Review

DSC_8470

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:

DSC_8434

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.

Unboxing:

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

DSC_8416

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

DSC_8418 DSC_8419

Under the plastic cover are all the accessories.

DSC_8420 DSC_8422DSC_8423

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.

DSC_8434

DSC_8442  DSC_8436  DSC_8438

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:

DSC_8535

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.

DSC_8547

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.

DSC_8438

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.

DSC_8494

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.

DSC_8551

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.

IMG_9239 IMG_9242 IMG_9243

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.

DSC_8505 DSC_8503

DSC_8504 DSC_8501

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.

IMG_9245 IMG_9243 IMG_9244

Here’s a look at some quick customization:

IMG_9246 IMG_9247 IMG_9248

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.

DSC_8542

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:

DSC_8541

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.

IMG_9251 IMG_9250

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).

IMG_9252 IMG_9254

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.

IMG_9256 IMG_9257

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.

IMG_9263 IMG_9265

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.

image

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.

DCIM\102GOPRO\GOPR5810.JPG

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:

DSC_8406

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.

DSC_8414

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.

DSC_8410

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:

DSC_8572

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)
Wahoo KICKR/KICKR SNAP Trainers

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.

DSC_8472

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.

DSC_8492

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:

DSC_8473 DSC_8475

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.

DSC_8477

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:

DSC_8508

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.

DSC_8513

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.

image

image

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.

DSC_8514

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:

DSC_8511

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

DCIM\101GOPRO\GOPR5580.JPG

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?

DCIM\102GOPRO\GOPR5812.JPG

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:

IMG_9228 IMG_9229 IMG_9230

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).

IMG_9226 IMG_9232

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:

DSC_8455

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.

IMG_9256 IMG_9255

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).

image

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:

DSC_8450

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

DSC_8455

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

DSC_8462

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.

DSC_8465

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.

DSC_8469

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.

DSC_8463

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 July 2nd, 2020 @ 4:04 amNew Window
Price$229$329$399$229
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
WaterproofingIPX7IPX7IPX7IPX7
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 Smart 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
GeocachingN/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 IntegrationYesYesYesYes
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 LinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save with the VIP programLinkLinkLinkLink
REI LinkLinkN/A
Wiggle LinkLinkLink
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.

Summary:

DCIM\101GOPRO\GOPR5582.JPG

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.

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT

For European/Australian/New Zealand readers, you can also pickup the unit via Wiggle at the links below, which helps support the site too! With Wiggle new customers get 10GBP (or equivalent in other currencies) off their first order for anything over 50GBP by using code [Currently Disabled] at check-out after clicking the links below.

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)
Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT Bundle (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)

And finally, here’s a handy list of some of my favorite Wahoo-specific accessories for the Wahoo units. Of course, being ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart compatible, you don’t have to limit things to just Wahoo (for example the Varia Radar).

ProductAmazon LinkNote
Barfly 4 Prime Out-Front Aluminum MountI love out-front mounts. Both Barfly and K-Edge make good ones. I primarily use the aluminum ones though, because this mount comes with a GoPro (and light/Di2) adapter on the bottom. So I can mount a GoPro up front and have the footage be rock solid.
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL510)The Varia radar has become incredibly popular in the last year, with most bike GPS companies supporting it (Wahoo, Stages, Hammerhead, Garmin, and more soon). It notifies you of overtaking traffic. While useless for cities, it's amazing for quieter country roads.
Wahoo RPM SensorThis dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensor will transmit cadence not only to your bike computer/watch, but also 3rd party apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and more.
Wahoo SPEED SensorSpeed sensors are primarily useful for offroad usage. I don't find much of a need for one while road-cycling, but for mountain bike trails they can help alleviate speed/distance issues with poor GPS reception in dense trees.
Wahoo TICKR HR StrapThe TICKR HR strap series is dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart and will connect to not just your bike computer or watch, but also 3rd party apps. While Wahoo makes a higher end TICKR X, most people won't ever use the limited additional features after the 2nd day. Save the cash and buy ice cream.

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!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

1,492 Comments

  1. Don

    Hello,
    Does the Bolt pair (ANT or BT) without the need of any help to the Shimano Ultergra 6770 GroupSet?

  2. seb

    hi wahoo guys , any idea when the bolt will be available on french cycling websites ? Looking forward to buy one !
    Thx by advance

  3. I made the switch from Garmin 520 to ELEMNT Bolt last week. Great decision.

    No more faffing about with that ridiculous OSM map tile download site for routes, and all the other stuff that Garmin are years behind with.

  4. Marvin

    Incredible review. Thanks. Also so many comments (and answers) but I didn’t see my question addressed. Sorry if it has been already.

    Does the unit impact your phones battery life to any measurable degree? I can get through a super long ride with strava running no problem on my iPhone 7. I presume u tun the wahoo app instead, which just substitutes strava? Still want the phone to have a charge if I need it for emergencies.

    Thx.

    • Charlie Woodall

      I’ve not noticed any impact. May be some, but it will be negligible.

    • Observer

      Marvin, I know Strava has very little impact on iPhone battery life, sadly in my experience the same cannot be said about the Elemnt app which seems to be a drain particularly with background activity on the iPhone, I tend to leave the Elemnt app closed and disable background activity for it, simply opening it when I need to which is not ideal since battery level notifications do not appear. I was finding it quite a drain on the battery when left to its own devices, was always near the top of the battery usage listing. This may be different on Android devices, my experience is with iPhone only. Hopefully this is something Wahoo can address in due course.

    • Observer

      Marvin, additionally there is no need at all to have anything other than the Bolt running on a ride, the Elemnt App is not required unless you want to change settings or sync ride data to the Elemnt app, service such as Strava and RidewithGPS will sync via wireless directly from the Bolt once initially configured via the phone. I leave the Elemnt app closed all the time and just let the Bolt sync data with various accounts including Strava and RidewithGPS. Hope that helps.

    • Marvin

      thx for observations/experiences. So if you want to use turn by turn directions, that can be completely loaded into the bolt unit, and does not need the app to be running in the background? Only if you need to update the route, you would go to the app on your phone? If you make a mistake on a turn, the bolt just gives you a set of turns to get back to the route loaded? thanks again/.

    • Observer

      No problem Marvin, you are correct, once the Wahoo Bolt is sync’d to RidewithGPS or Strava the routes will update directly to the Bolt so long as it has access to wireless. You can create a route in Strava or RidewithGPS and it will sync to the Bolt without the phone being involved, similarly if you update a route the same applies. Maybe someone else can chime in on re-routing if you make a wrong turn, I know if you go off course the Bolt will start flashing and beeping to notify. I have not done any on the fly routes, simply created them in Strava or RidewithGPS and the sync process is painless to the Bolt/Elemnt, as are updates if you modify the route in Strava or RidewithGPS.

    • Observer

      Marvin, not sure if you have considered the original Wahoo Elmnt as well as the Bolt, having used both now my preferred choice is the original Elemnt simply for the screen (text) size and also the more visible LED’s. The screen design on the Bolt results in a darker background than the original Elemnt as well, I prefer the lighter LCD background on the original Elemnt. Buttons on the Bolt are easier to press and require less force, particularly power but this is a sacrifice I will happily make for the screen and LED’s benefits of the original Elemnt. Personal preference and opinion of course but if you dig around on Google for picture comparisons you can see how they look. Time permitting I will write a comparison review of the Bolt and the Elemnt from my point of view, lots to like about the Bolt but somehow to me it just seems like it should cost half the price of the Elemnt when you get them side by side. Just thinking out loud 🙂 !

  5. Plainsman

    Is access to wi-fi required to upload to Strava at the end of a ride? This computer is #1 on my list right now to replace an aging Garmin 500, but one thing I like about the 520 is that at the end of a ride it automatically will pair to a phone via bluetooth and post to Strava (this is what my buddies do while we enjoy and lunch after a ride – I joke that I need to go home first and put the hand crank in my computer). Fun to analyze the data right after. Can the Bolt do this as well? A friend just bought one, but so far can only get it to upload a ride to Strava once he is in wi-fi range. Is there a setting to tweak somewhere to enable it to do so via bluetooth?

    • paulo lobao

      YES. Just tap end of the raid and it will upload for all your sites (Strava, TrainingPeaks, etc). And Yes, via bluetotth to your cell phone. I live in a building at the 2º floor. I end the ride, put the bike in my garage and when I arrive home everything is already done in Strava, etc.

    • Observer

      Plainsman, if the Bolt is in wifi range after the ride is ended then it will automatically upload to Strava. If not in wifi range then the Bolt will sync with your phone via bluetooth and upload the ride from the Elemnt app to Strava. I have found the Bluetooth method intermittent and sometimes I need to go into the Elemnt app and force the upload to Strava, this has been my experience with an iPhone. The wifi method from the Elemnt computer itself seems very reliable.

  6. jdg

    Hello,

    Is it possible to navigate from point A to point B on the fly – and away from any computer? What if you changed your mind and wants to route to somewhere else while on the road.

    How do you do that? Thx, Jdg

  7. Jerom

    Will this display extend Powertap P1 data?

  8. Roger Grobler

    Firstly thank you for all the great reviews as always. You are my go to place for all equipment. Really exceptional.

    Just so that you know: Bought the VIP membership on Clever Training, and then ordered both the Bolt and the Elemnt. Only got the reward points and not the 10% discount. Not the end of the world, but inconsistent with the end of your review, and I thought you’d like to know. I did get free shipping, so that covered the $5 for the VIP membership, but the 10% discount would have been very neat.

    • Hi Roger-

      Thanks for the support, I appreciate it!

      Can you clarify the discrepancy though at the end of the review? It says 10% back in points on this product, and 10% discount on thousands of OTHER products. Or do you see some other text? If so – I’ll get it fixed right away.

      Thanks!

    • Roger Grobler

      My mistake. I read it as a 10% discount, not in points. I got the points. Thanks for replying.

  9. Ian

    Any news on whether a Wahoo will add the di2 battery level data field? Love everything about my new Bolt but I also love having the di2 battery level on my Edge (1000).

    As always thanks for the review and awesome site Ray – my first point of call for all bike bits reviews

  10. Oriol

    When I click the buttons on the bottom is easy to see artifacts in screen, is anyone else having this issue?

    • Observer

      Oriol, yes, I have noticed this and commented on it somewhere above, not acceptable to me (returning mine) and one reason I prefer the Elemnt to the Bolt, simply poor design and may even have a negative long term effect on the Bolt’s display? Doesn’t seem to be something many people have noticed but I spotted it straight out the box, sometimes more noticeable with the screen off.

    • oriol

      thanks for the reply!

    • raqball

      Same here re: the artifacts. Additionally, mine has yellow splotches in the bottom corners of the screen. These splotches are very visible when the unit is in bright and direct sunlight. When bottom buttons are pressed I get the artifacts and the yellow splotches become much more noticeable..

      Think I’ll stick with my Edge 520..

    • Observer

      Raqball, I would recommend trying the original Elemnt, screen has lighter background and generally clearer, three front buttons are a not an issue regarding screen ‘bruising’ effect due to different design and the larger screen is useful to me. LED’s are also brighter and show up more due to the design. Build quality is also more substantial on the Elemnt, if you can live with the size it is worth giving one a shot, buttons also seem easier to use with gloves due to the raised design.

  11. Nestor

    Thanks for your reviews – they’re a fantastic resource. On the strength of this one I eBayed my 520 and bought an Elemnt. The 520 annoyed me with fiddly buttons, clunky navigation (map zooming – aaargh) and difficulty getting routes onto it. All resolved – this feels like a more modern unit with a better integrated infrastructure. The setup flow is particularly impressive.

  12. Hank

    Will the Bolt display left and right leg power?

  13. Mike

    Great Review … as always!

    Do I Need to buy a Wahoo HR-Sensor or does it work with my Garmin sensor?
    Thanks!

    • David Sem

      You can use other brands…..that’s the magic of Ant+ and BT protocols. I’m using Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband. Really nice unit.

  14. Phil

    Just purchased it!
    seems good quality software and also seems that the wahoo team is listening to customers voice..

    just a question.
    is it possible to mark some waypoints and during route having a field of remaining km until that waypoint? like turn by turn instruction but with waypoint.
    for instance during a granfondo mark feeding stations so during a ride I now how long is the road before the next.

    thanks
    Phil

  15. didi

    Hi,
    Unfortunately, from the hardware in the gps computers a secret made. Gps chip, processor, etc
    I. One can not say how the reception quality of the gps chip is e.g. In comparison with the cell phone because the producers for whatever reasons also always the data not give out, which I think it,s strange.
    Maybe someone here knows more?
    and sorry for my bad english.
    Lg

    • Using GPS chipsets as a reference point for accuracy is flawed. Most GPS accuracy issues these days comes from firmware and antenna placement, not the chipsets selected.

  16. Paul Aebischer

    Received unit yesterday and setup went smoothly. Maiden ride today and just a few items that might be hopefully addressed in future firmware/app enhancements.

    1. Di2 Integration: I am hoping there is something on the development roadmap a option to introduce customized assignments for the hood buttons. I would love to be able to use the left/right buttons to pan right, or pan left. Right now it appears you can only scroll right and the left button starts a new lap? It is nice to page right and then page left back to your original page rather than having to hit the right button 5 or 6 times to get back to your main page. I also liked how Garmin gave you the ability to assign a long press to bring up a specific page, ie left long pause elevation page, right long pause bring up map/nav. I am the type of rider that does not use laps, thus having the left button statically assigned to the left button is useless. I think I fired off 5 laps on my ride today just instinctively pressing the left button. Maybe I missed this functionality in the companion app?
    2. Power Zones: I wanted to select only 6 zones in the companion app, however after updating my FTP and selecting the 6 zone option it would not apply. I would select the 6 zone button and it would change, and I would recalculate….good. When I went back to the previous page and went back in it reverted back to 8 zones. I attempted several times to make it stick and it has since stayed on 8.
    3. Does Wahoo have a support community?

    So far I am really liking the experience so keep up the good work guys

    • Paul Aebischer

      After looking at my first ride data last night…

      1. When you view your ride history in the companion app I really like the way the data is presented, very nice. But when I go to edit the cards I get no opportunity to add any further cards or data, or edit the cards. For instance….I would like to add to my power card the ability to view my Left/Right pedal data as part of the right. I know it is collecting it because when I ended my ride and reviewed the summary on the device itself it presented the left/right data. In general, does the companion app give you the ability to customize the data view of your ride data instead of simply turning cards on/off?

      2. I noticed no Dropbox option on the Android companion app. Is this only featured in the IOS version? Also, does your roadmap include integration with any other cloud providers? Google Drive, Onedrive?

      Thanks

    • Paul Aebischer

      Another thing I just noticed as I prepare my route for tomorrow:

      1. Is there anyway to have the RwGPS integration without having your completed ride upload as well to RwGPS? So you setup your third party partner interfaces, check automatic upload, and your completed ride shows upload to each one of them. I would just like it to upload to Strava and Training Peaks….not upload my ride as a route to RwGPS.

      I do really like the way this interfaces and integrates as it makes a lot of sense. I just do not want every one of my rides uploaded as a route in RwGPS, but I want to interface it to sync planned routes.

      I might also be missing some fundamentals, but I know of no other community to ask or highlight these questions.

      And thanks for the review DC…long time listener, first time caller. I also did join your VIP club on Clever Training and purchased the unit through your partner. Good stuff.

      Thanks all.

    • Thanks for the support Paul!

      (As for the question – I’m not aware of any way to do one without the other).

    • Nick Cross

      @Paul Aebischer

      I found link to groups.google.com to ask questions in.

      Do you mean that the route from ridewithgps that you sync with the bolt then gets duplicated as another route and also as a ride? Or that it syncs the route as a ride and also ones that you didn’t create in ridewithgps?

  17. TC

    Thanks for the great review! I’d like to add a vote for the ability to exclude zeros from average cadence (posting here since Wahoo seems to be keeping an eye on the comments). Otherwise I’m a fan of the unit so far.

  18. Tom

    I too made the leap, from an 820 to the Bolt. My 820 just decided to not want to charge, so good riddance.

    A few observations, or things that are a little annoying.

    1. Whilst calibrating/zeroing my PM isn’t that hard, the feature that Garmin has, where it notes the PM is ‘live’ and asks if you want to zero, then when confirming, it presents the ‘push button’.
    2. As someone else wrote, the fields don’t go down from 8, 7,6,5,4,3,2 to 1, but miss out 7 and 5 and 1 is really 2 with an empty field. That looks messy.
    3. The aero mount is great, but with my OCD, and wide stems, it just won’t sit centre, so have to use the k-edge which has a great angle to the mount.

    Otherwise totally in love with it. Love the led’s, although would love to customise the light colours, when I’m pushing bigger watts, it literally puts me into the red, and everyone can see ‘I’m at max and prime to attack’.

  19. Tony P

    Does anyone know if it is possible to change the data fields displayed on the Strava Live Segments page? I’d like to display power if possible.

  20. Timmo Meyer

    As soon as I read: “that app is basically needed to get it going” I stopped immediately. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t plan to buy one either. Let’s go for the Garmin 810, which still has a GOOD touch screen (a resistive one that will react to finger nails!) and let me forget about the 820 and this one. Thank you for opening my eyes BEFORE I bought one…

  21. Olivier Champoux

    Hey Ray.
    Why i some of your photo of the bolt you have the battery pourcentage, the phone icon and the time at the top of the BOLT. I cannot find this on mine. I’m using the Android app. Is there a difference in the field you can display on the Bolt depending on the phone OS?

    Thanks

  22. johan

    Well, I double checked; My Bolt doesn’t get displayed nor remembered by my Motorola MOTO G android phones bluetooth settings. My Element and phone do pair, it’s just not in the phone bluetooth device list. Maybe that’s why I get a “search for Element” every now and then (2-3 times 5 minutes of app usage)

    Is your E listed (and remembered) in your phones BT list?

    • codyish

      With BLE the paired device generally won’t show up in the phones paired BT list, and it shouldn’t be paired directly with the phone instead of through the app because that can interfere with it properly pairing in the app. There does seem to currently be a bug that if you turn on the Bolt and then open the app it won’t pair easily, but if you open the app and then turn on the Bolt it will.

  23. Roger Van Hilst

    Hi Ray in regards to syncing the strava live segments from the phone too the Bolt you say “Once that’s all set and good, you’ll sync your BOLT using either WiFi or Bluetooth Smart. Either will work for this purpose.” On my unit it does not sync using bluetooth. It only tries to connect to wifi. under the Learn More buttom in the Live segments section on the companion app the Strava blurb says; “ELEMNT will automatically sync starred segments when connected to wifi”. so it appears for this function it doesn’t use bluetooth. For everything else it seems to.

  24. Brendan Kelly

    Great review as usual Ray. After reading this review I dumped my Edge 820. I was getting sick on the touchscreen becoming useless in the rain I live in Ireland and this is an issue and I’m really not a fan of Garmin customer support but anyway, does anyone know if there is a way to set a custom speed for auto pause? Generally I had this set at 4mph on my Garmin so when I’m coasting up to lights etc it pauses, not a big issue but if anyone knows that would be great. I also seem to have the issue with having to force the ride to Strava but again this isn’t big in the grand scheme of things. really loving the device.

  25. Luis

    Hi Ray,
    Great review.
    I have a 520 ATM, and I’m a bit disappointed with it. I was looking for a full replacement of a normal cycle computer, and I found the 520 doesn’t do that. It’s a great GPS with many more features, but if I’m riding a short distance (ie commute), all I want to know is the basic stats (or even better, the ones I selected).

    I would love to have GPS-cycle-computer that could keep track of an odometer, and still show me how fast I’m going without having to record a short ride.

    Any idea if the Wahoo can be used this way?

    • Maarten

      Yes. At the start of a ride the bolt will ask if you want to record. Simply press no and you’ll just see your data.

  26. Steve

    So I love the Bolt but am also having issues with elevation/ft climb. Just did a 62.5 miler and my total ft climb showed 480. The other guys that I rode with showed 680-780. Ride w GPS shows 685 ft climb. Is it just not as accurate as the Garmin? Again, I absolutely love the Bolt and chose it over the 520 for good reason but if it’s going to give me problems on tracking rides I may have to make the switch. I thought it would be comparable to Garmin since it has GPS, Glonass, and Barometer but after reading the posts I’m wondering if it is lacking. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jon

      I’m curious about this as well. Are there really widespread elevation issues or just select units?

    • AndreA

      I might have experience some: first race out there with the bolt, 130km. Everything worked fine (apart from the results..) and I ended and saved. Then synced to Strava and other sites.

      It turns out that Strava miscalculated the estimated power, which is super weird: it never happened before, and it’s always in the right ballpark.

      So I went to some climb analisys and found that climbing grade errates between good values and close-to-zero data points.

      The graph, speed, map and the rest is fine, so there may be something wrong with the barometric altimeter maybe.

      But it could be something with the setup: I use to train with a powertap, so I had it configured, but changed to race wheels. Maybe the unit just passed 0 power tags to Strava. I don’t know.

      Or it could be a problem with the file.

      Whatever, I hope it’s not a hardware issue… got it for less than a week… 🙁

    • Steve

      So mine isn’t an issue with posting to Strava. For the first hour of my ride, my ft. climb showed 0 ft. Granted I wasn’t climbing much, if any, during that first hour but it continued to show 0. Then all of the sudden it showed like 90 ft. and like I said, at the end of my ride I was a little bit low on ft. climb. Also, I think it was low on the distance because it should have been around 63 miles and mine showed 62.5 miles. I don’t know if it is a glitchy device or bad luck or what but I’m concerned that it’s not tracking accurately.

    • AndreA

      I’ve answerd at comment #614, I don’t know why it didn’t publish it here..

      I attach a picture: this is one climb, it’s 7.5km and 6% average. See how the estimated power is on a skpikes roller coaster, from 0 to 850W back and forth. Cardio was low threshold for me, so I might have been in the 190-200s as far as wattage.

      Since power estamtion takes into account speed, weight, and climb, and being the speed curve just fine and weight constant, it must be that climb (elevation) is bad.

      I’ve doublechecked with old data (I used a Wahoo Rflkt+) and the graph was much more in the norm. Less variance.

    • AndreA

      Also, I’ve imported the .fit file to Garmin, and it says elevation gain is 4000mt (slightly less than double, it is reported 2100 by the organistion, and ElemntBolt/Strava say 2177).

      [Garmin also shows and max cadence 25 (Strava 254), versus an average cadence of 65 (Strava 69). So there’s something still to be nailed down, I guess.]

    • Steve

      AndreA, I really appreciate your post and analysis. So do you think it’s just a minor software issue that Wahoo will be able to fix? I sure hope so because again, I really like my Bolt and would rather keep it than return it for the Edge 520.

    • AndreA

      Well I’m afraid we’re on the same boat here..
      I also hope it has something to do with software, as it can be fixed.

      About the elevation reported into Garmin, I’ve double checked with some older ride made with rflkt+. It was as bad as this one, so that has nothing to do with our topic.

      My experience with the rflkt+ is that they engineer interesting products, which include good software pieces (the apps are great, the zoom in and out from page displays is a game changer, etc.).

      But in the rflkt+ case it’s been a super pain, as it never really turned out to be a reliable device to me: they never resolved some hw limitations I guess, fi in BT connection.

      Today I think it may be something about low elevation sampling resolution or smoothing method. Or some empty tag in the protocol.

      Anyhow, we’ll see. I’m not contacting support anymore as I was probably banned many years ago as I was hardly wanting my device to work, and sending any possible information to help out. I got misunderstood. 🙂

      Nevertheless, I think I’m sorta wahooligan, as I also shifted to the tickr. Let’s keep finger crossed and see what they do.

    • Hey guys – I’m sorry to hear about this elevation issue you’re seeing. Can you do me a favor and raise a support ticket? support@wahoofitness.com

      – Please include the FIT files from these workouts
      – Note the elevation numbers from the companion app
      – Note the share sites that you’re comparing the workouts to

      We’ll take a look at this issues you guys are seeing and get to the bottom of it.

      Thanks in advance!

    • Steve

      So I got a hold of Wahoo customer support yesterday and they were super cool. They told me that they are aware of the elevation issue and are working to fix it. Bottom line is that no GPS computer is perfect, and there are limitations to the technology, but that they are working on becoming the best on the market. They use the altimeter/barometer together with GPS data whereas Garmin only uses GPS data. Thus, their products should be more reliable.

      They also said that there are some limitations with trying to place a tiny barometer into a tiny GPS unit and that’s why they couple that info with GPS data to get a more reliable reading. I think I’m going to stick with Wahoo and wait for them to iron out the kinks. I like that they’re trying to overtake Garmin and become the best company out there for cycling computers. Perhaps they’re just not quite there yet but are working day and night to get there.

    • AndreA

      Well, I’ve sent the FIT file as requested, but as I mentioned yesterday I’m afraid I had been banned so chances they get it are low.

      I think the statement about Garmin is wrong, the edge does have barometer I believe.

      About the GPS+Barometer thing, yes, I’ve received. Newsletter from wahoo yesterday, stating that they have this cool feature..

      It may likely be exactly this to create discontinuity: they say that the bolt validates the data point with previous reading, and if it’s out of a certain range they discard it. So what does it mean? Will they simply record no elevation in the discarded datapoint?

      Even though it was the case, it would be nice to understand how this mechanism resonates… also, they could share the idea with the team at Strava, who are really good at algorithms, and also lack a way to validate their elevation correction feature… 🙂

    • Regarding how the Edge works, the unit uses GPS upon startup to get a ‘close enough’ fix for elevation, and then the barometer inside it takes over from there. It’s how virtually every bike computer works (and most GPS watches too).

      If Wahoo is doing some sort of fused GPS+Baro data validation after that point, might be interesting to know.

    • I am not 100% sure, but I think my old Garmin GPSMAP® 60CSx (which still works perfectly after more than 10 years of use) recorded the elevation in a hybrid method.

      It has a super sensitive barometric altimeter, but on the long term this data is corrected to a (probably rolling average of the) GPS elevation to overcome drifts that are associated with the change in weather (the sea level pressure changes over time).

      Wahoo seems to be doing the same at startup. It happens that your elevation is 100 metre off right after acquiring satellites, but if you wait another 30 seconds (before starting the activity), then you can see the elevation value drop/climb to your actual elevation, so there is clearly a kind of auto-calibration at least at the beginning of the ride to calibrate the barometric sensor to the GPS altitude (when a good GPS signal is available).

      At least this is my theory based on my observations 😉

    • AndreA

      They do, they state they do.

      From the support site:


      Since there is no constant relationship between air pressure and elevation, a barometer requires regular adjusting (calibration) to ensure accurate elevation. ELEMNT relies on elevation from GPS to perform this adjustment. At the beginning of each ride Element/Bolt will get the current elevation from GPS and adjust the barometer elevation to match. During the ride, ELEMNT is constantly looking to remove any barometer elevation drift from environmental changes by comparing elevation from barometer and GPS, and making adjustments to barometer elevation accordingly.

      The main difficulty is that elevation from GPS is notoriously unreliable due to the positioning of the GPS satellites (this explains why GPS is not the main source of elevation). Before using GPS to remove drift in barometer elevation, ELEMNT first performs advanced calculations to determine if the GPS elevation is accurate. If GPS elevation is deemed inaccurate it is not used. Although this prevents ‘polluting’ the barometer elevation with potentially very poor elevation from GPS – which can be hundreds of meters off for extended periods of time) – it also means that at certain times ELEMNT unfortunately cannot use GPS elevation to remove drift from barometer elevation.

  27. The Squid

    I’ve recently had trouble with the pairing of the Bolt to my iPhone 6. The Bolt would state that the pairing to the phone failed. When I would check the phone’s bluetooth list, it would display the device as being paired. I would have a test text sent and it would only display on the phone. I attempted to correct the situation by unnpairing the phone and the Bolt. Repaired both devices and everything paired up fine. I turned on the unit several days later and both units didn’t pair again. There were no updates to the Bolt, iPhone or element app in the time between when i repaired and turned on the bolt the second time. Anyone from wahoo or on the blog have any answers?

    Thanks

    Mark

  28. Efe Balli

    Hello, is it possible to connect the top LEDs to cadence readout? I’d love to have RPM lights on my head unit and pop millisecond upshifts when the light bar is full.

  29. Andre

    Hi,

    I’ve been riding with Garmin Devices for years. I have almost every device on the market and am currently using the Edge 820 for my rides. A lot of people have been having issues with their 820, well to be honest this is one of the first devices i bought from Garmin that works pretty well.

    Nevertheless that I decided to checkout the Element Bolt and ordered one today. I am quite excited to see how it works.The problem with Garmin is/was that they have a lot of software issues, their reaction time is slow or not existing which means you’re lucky or you’re f*****. I don’t know about Wahoo so i’ll let them surprise me.

    Cheers,
    Andre

  30. Marcel Bouwmeester

    Recently purchased the wahoo Bolt. Does the companion app work equally well on iphone and android?
    Really appreciate your website. For me the number 1 review site when it comes to cycling

    • Paulo

      Hi Marcel,

      I’m running a Note 3 (Android).
      I only have a HR strap (Ant+) and a Stages PM.
      When I ride long distances I use a Plantronics BackBeat Fit connected via BT to my Note3.
      Everything runs really great the only exception (and I don’t know if that only happens to me…): I cannot RENAME or DELETE any of the custom pages that I created in the Elemnt APP. I can switch them OFF or ON but cannot delete or rename them (I created a few just for testing..). I’ve already commented that in the Google Play Store but no answer until now.

      Cheers,
      paulo

    • Hi Paulo,

      This is fixed and will be ready for the next update. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    • Paulo

      Great, THANK YOU :-).

      Cheers,
      paulo

  31. Andreas Meyer

    Hi,

    regarding the rechargeable battery: is anyone else concerned that it’s not possible to exchange it, or is it just me? I asked the wahoo support and unfortunately the only reply was that they have no plans for a “trade in” program – which seems to indicate that it’s (1) not possible to exchange the battery yourself and (2) also Wahoo will not change it. Given that already now, the battery life is just enough for one extended day trip (10 hours riding), it means after a few hundred charge cycles this drops down to just 5 hours. While of course you could carry an external battery pack, it kind of defeats the purpose of having a small and aerodynamic bike computer.

    Or maybe it IS possible to replace the battery for yourself, just that it’s not documented/openly communicated by wahoo? Does anybody have more information on that? For me it’s kind of a show-stopper ….

    Cheers!

  32. AndreA

    Yes you’re right!

    Now that you say it, I remind I actually noticed that 0 grade on mild climbs (talkin 0 to 2%) and I found myself wondering whether it was due to something like averaging issues.

    And I now clearly recall I made the same “averaging” consideration even during climbs two or three times! I was focusing on the race, so I didn’t give any attention to this before, but you are right.

    At the end of the race, however, the total elevation was more or less right.

    • Gabriel

      I’ve noticed that too today in a mild climb. It was clear a 1~2% climb but the elemnt bolt marked 0…
      Anyone else have experienced this?

  33. AndreA

    Yes you’re right!

    Now that you say it, I remind I actually noticed that 0 grade on mild climbs (talkin 0 to 2%) and I found myself wondering whether it was due to something like averaging issues.

    And I now clearly recall I made the same “averaging” consideration even during climbs two or three times! I was focusing on the race, so I didn’t give any attention to this before, but you are right.

    At the end of the race, however, the total elevation was more or less right.

  34. Rick Arwood

    I’m also having elevation issues. My bolt sporadically seems to report much lower elevation gain than my old garmin 800, for similar routes. The pattern does not seem to be consistent.
    I did a 44 mile mountain bike ride yesterday, starting and finishing at the same place. There was no major weather change to throw things off. Despite, this the device reported 4845 ascent and 5462 descent. My garmin was never off by more than 100 feet, unless major weather change. I then uploaded the GPX to garmin connect to create the route. It logged the same distance, but 8000 feet of elevation gain. My typical mtb rides are in the 1400-1500 foot elevation per 10 miles, so I was expecting a number between the two.

  35. Tim Fortuna

    Has anyone noticed a problem with using the Bolt with Garmin Vector and not getting left/right balance data? It was only picking up my right pedal data.

  36. shawn kane

    are there any bike computers that show watts/kg

  37. Frank

    Does the Element Bolt let you display a map even if no route is pre-configured? This would be beneficial to me on trail rides where I may not be pre-planning a ride, but will still need a trail map / sheet for guidance.

  38. Lawrence Angalot

    is it true that wahoo bolt cant set the crank arm length of power meter?

  39. Gabriel

    I’ve just got my bolt and rode this morning. I am somewhat disappointed with some features.
    LED indicators: They don’t bright on daylight and are kinda useless if you are riding under the sun.
    Turn-by-Turn Navigation: I already knew that turn by turn navigation was not able through Strava, but it was possible through Komoot and RideWithGps. HOWEVER……
    – You need to pay in order to unlock regions on Komoot in order to sync Komoot routes. Although you can unlock one region for free, each region is really small for road cycling (see attached image. The distance between Knoxville and Maryville, where I go to bike every weekend, is just 20 miles). Global unlock is $30 or $4 each region or $9 a bundle of regions (~3).
    – RideWithGps is the other option. One way to use routes you have in Strava is to download the gpx and upload it to RideWithGps to the use in in your Bolt. However, this process will not give you turn by turn navigation. To add cue sheet points to the imported route you have to edit the route with their tool (link to ridewithgps.com) . BUT…..this tool is only for paid subscriptions ($6 the basic one).
    I think turn by turn navigation ON A GPS BIKE COMPUTER doesn’t have to depend on paid subscriptions on 3rd party apps. Take into account this if you are choosing between the Wahoo Bolt and the Garmin Edge 520, as the turn by turn navigation comparison is not fair as in order to use it on the Elemnt Bolt you have to spend more money whereas with Garmin, that is already included.

    Does anyone think the same or have found a solution to this?
    Thanks!

    • Paul Roberts

      Gabriel,

      I agree that turn by turn navigation is an essential feature on a GPS bike computer.

      I’ve also been looking into the mapping feature and my workaround solution is to create a new route manually in RideWithGPS. As you do this you’ll notice that the cuesheet gets populated with the turn by turn directions.

      I don’t do a lot of mapping so for me this is an acceptable workaround. If I was doing more I’d probably subscribe to RideWithGPS.

      If there are any other solution to get turn by turn for free on the Bolt then I’d love to hear them

    • Maarten

      you can manually add cue points to routes in the free version of RideWithGps (at least I can). I actually prefer those over the ones RWG suggests, as they typically put in way too many cues. I usually create a route, then go through it to look for the not so obvious intersections and add cue points there, removing all the other ones. Obvious ones are typically easy to see on the Bolt’s map anyway so no need for extra distractions…

      So: I have not paid for a RideWithGPS subscription, but I do get TBT directions on my BOLT

    • Phil

      Thanks!
      that solves my request to put wayopints and get notified of remaining distance during a ride! I create a route with RWG, clear all cues and then add my waypoints (cues), didn’t know that I could do that 🙂

    • Gabriel

      UPDATE:

      After expending some time on internet I finally understood and learn how to get TBT directions using ride with gps (RWG), As Maarten said, once you imported the gpx file to RWG you have to follow the route and add manually cue points. It takes some time to do it but overall the Bolt is so great that it’s worth it.
      Thank y’all for your comments!

    • Jay

      Glad you worked out what to do – you can either manually add the course points or trace the route in RWGPS which only take a few minutes – all explained in the RWGPS help system.

      You do not need a paid subscription with RWGPS to do any of this route building.

    • Komoot is no subscription. Pay once, and you’re done.

  40. Ian

    About 6 rides into Bolt ownership and generally I’m really happy.
    One thing which is annoying rather than critical is that between the device and / or the app my gear ratios for my di2 sensor keep resetting to 50/34 chainrings. I change it to 52/36. It records correctly on the ride. Charge the device after switching off and go for next rode, check and it’s fine back to 50/34, configure and save again….

    Just me or a bug that will be fixed in the next upgrade?

    Ian

  41. Rangzen

    Anyone have this issue with their bolt? I received the unit last month. It started with a small black dot on the bottom left corner. I have only used this unit about 8x before it started to fail on me. Now I can only see 1/3 of the screen. Wahoo can’t tell me when I will get a replacement when they are supposed to get new shipment 3 days from now. What?

  42. Kate

    Hi,
    I’m really tempted by this, the only thing I can see it doesn’t have is GLONASS. Do you have anything onhow much difference that actually makes? I’d imagine for road cycling (as opposed to trail running for which I have a watch) it would be minimal?
    Also, are you planning any more reviews on the lezyne options?
    Thanks, great review as always.

  43. James

    I have never brought a GPS bike computer before, and this is probably a bit of a noob question but can someone tell me will the device show the speed on the screen based on the gps data or will i need to have a speed ANT+ sensor as well? as im looking to buy one this week and wonder if i need to get the unit on its own or buy the ant+ sensor as well. Thanks so much

    • David Sembiante

      I have had the bolt more than a month. Not sure if this quirk is because of something I’m doing wrong.

      This occurs when finishing a ride and not paired to my phone.

      When I return home, and in Wi-Fi range of the home, THEN press yes to finish ride, the upload to strava and TP occurs.

      When I return home, and NOT in Wi-Fi range of the home, THEN press yes to finish ride, the upload to strava and TP DOES NOT occur even after the Bolt obtains a Wi-Fi connection. It seems there is no “retry logic” to push the data after a connection has been obtained. In order to upload the ride i need to pair with the phone. A little annoying.

      Any thoughts?

    • David Sembiante

      Sorry James, I put my above comment in the wrong place.

      If you want accurate speed get the ANT sensor. I like the Garmin one.

    • Phil

      Speed sensor is for a little more accuracy when you ride in place with low GPS coverage (tunnels, forest, city with tall building) and you absolutely want a reliable speed data.
      you can use GPS only and see if you need it and buy it later 😉

      I have wahoo dual speed and cadence sensor

    • James

      Thanks

  44. David Sembiante

    I have had the bolt more than a month. Not sure if this quirk is because of something I’m doing wrong.

    This occurs when finishing a ride and not paired to my phone.

    When I return home, and in Wi-Fi range of the home, THEN press yes to finish ride, the upload to strava and TP occurs.

    When I return home, and NOT in Wi-Fi range of the home, THEN press yes to finish ride, the upload to strava and TP DOES NOT occur even after the Bolt obtains a Wi-Fi connection. It seems there is no “retry logic” to push the data after a connection has been obtained. In order to upload the ride i need to pair with the phone. A little annoying.

    Any thoughts?

    • Gabriel

      It happened to me in my last ride. I had to pair with my phone and manually force the upload to strava. may be we can send a feedback to wahoo so they consider fixing this on a next firmware update

  45. Greg Moore

    Just got the new Bolt yesterday – the app runs extremely slow for me on my iPhone 6 running iOS 10.2.1. Anyone else have this issue?

    • I’ve got an iPhone 6 that struggles to open calculator sometimes (it’s all assortment of pissed off about life), yet the Bolt app seems just fine on it.

      Try closing all your apps and rebooting the phone?

  46. Phil

    I Have problem with strava live segments…

    I have a premium account and I starred some segments. I also have activated “Strava Live” on the companion app… but I don’t have the strava segments page on the bolt so I cannot sync!
    Also, Bolt is connected to wifi

    what I’m missing?

    thanks

    • Observer

      Phil, due to a current bug in the Wahoo firmware you will need to reset the Bolt to enable the Live Segment page, very annoying as I have found out. Also if you turn off Live Segments at any point the same will apply to enable the page on the Wahoo again. Wahoo are aware and I hope they can fix this in due course. Not too painful depending on how many custom pages you have set as these also get cleared in the process. No easy fix for this at the moment.

    • Phil

      Damn… thanks!
      I think I can wait for a firmware upgrade, too lazy to reconfigure everything 🙂

    • Paulo

      Are you sure?
      I had the Bolt from late March (bought it at Bike24) and I have no problems with Strava live segments! I never reseted my Bolt and sometimes I have LS ON sometimes OFF! It is connected to my Note3 via BT and the Note3 is connected to www via my data plan.

      Cheers,
      paulo @ Portugal

    • Observer

      I should have said that this occurs when using an iPhone 5s which could mean it is more an iPhone/iOS issue and may not be a problem for Android users.

  47. Albert

    After reading your review and see your videos…
    I just got my Bolt today, cant wait to do long ride with it at the weekend.

    So Bolt GPS can work without the phone rite (dedicated GPS)? as long as I download the maps and the route to Bolt?

    Before Bolt, i try the Elemnt Mini, which not released yet and the GPS using from phone.

  48. william feiges

    I currently have an elemnt and would like to run a bolt on a different bike with a different setup than the elemnt. I can’t seem to have two different setups any ideas. thanks

  49. Eeic

    Hi Ray,

    I have a Canyon Aerorad with the special computer mount (garmin). Is it possible to use this with the Wahoo Bolt?

    Eric

    • Yes, no, sorta.

      Yes you can generally speaking make the Bolt fit into a Garmin quarter-turn mount. By default it’ll be a very snug fit that requires a bit of angling in. My concern long-term is that something breaks in that equation (either the mount tabs or the unit tabs). Some folks have simply filed the unit tabs down ever so slightly (like, less than a millimeter), and that resolves.

      Without knowing on the Aerorad how the layout is exactly, one thing to validate is if there’s enough space for the front of the Bolt to be lower than the mount itself, as it dips down. In looking at some pics on the web of your mount, I’d be concerned that front lip piece might block it. :-/

  50. Fred

    Three kinda noob questions:
    1 – regarding the “on the fly choose a place to go from the app” function, after choosing a point to get to, then syncing with the bolt, does the elemnt app still have to be open for it to work or is it sync and shut the app?
    2 – does the app need to be open in order to be receiving texts and notifications? Or just Bluetooth paired?
    3 – when you use the location sharing from within the app, do you just need to share the location, then shut down the app, or does it need to be open to be functioning?

    One more for question for good measure: many have commented about having to be connected to WiFi or paired to upload a completed workout. Would it not be possible to create a phone based WiFi Hotspot and upload that way? Anyone tried?

    Thanks.

    Fred

  51. Tito

    I don’t know how many people use Elemnt Bolt in altitudes of 1000 meters or more… But as Peter informed in one message above (April 12), there is serious issues with Altitude and Grade at least when you are in high places over the sea.

    I live in a place with 2600 mts, and when I go out to ride, altitude can reach more that 3000 mts easy, but Elemnt Bolt failed every single ride dropping elevation and grade to cero meters when I begin climbing, this never change during the entire ride, that mean during practically all the ride, bolt shows cero in those values.

    Just wondering if there are more people with this problem? Maybe some tip to try to avoid it?

    Wahoo’s Customer Service told me that they know about this issue and they are working to get a solution, I really hope this can be solved as soon as possible…

    By the way, I also have the pressure points in corners of screen that some users reported… but it does not affect reading or working of device.

    • Hi Tito,

      I am glad to hear that this issue happens with other units too (I am the Peter you are referring to). Wahoo told me this was a hardware issue, and they are working on sending me a replacement unit, but I am not so convinced. I really think this is a firmware bug. I live in Belgium so I never encounter the issue, but I was quite sad when it happened on my rides on the Canary Islands in April… I am also looking forward to hearing more on this issue from Wahoo.

      Cheers,
      Peter

    • Tito

      Wowwww, thanks Peter for your quick answer!

      Actually, Wahoo confirmed to me (today) that it is a firmware bug and in theory they will push a fix that solve the issue and allow an update to device, the big question is when? :S

      It is very frustrating for me because it fails for all my rides…

      I will update here as soon as I have any news, I hope, good news.

      Regards!

      Tito.

    • Hi Tito,

      if the time comes for a firmware update regarding this issue, then keep us updated here if it worked for you, because not many of us lives at such an altitude, so further testing for me for example is not even possible without first travelling 1000 km further 🙂 Looking forward to an update.

      Cheers!

    • Adam Ward

      Ray, is this altitude problem a widespread issue? I’m soon moving to 6000 ft and this would be a deal breaker to me.

      Thanks.

    • It doesn’t appear to be widespread. I’d guess I’ve seen about 3-5 complaints here about it (different people).

    • Tito

      Hi Ray,

      I think it is not widespread because not every body use it at very high altitudes… But Every day there are more complains about this issue for people like me who use the device at more than 1500 – 2000 meters… Every single time it fails…

      Now I see that Steve (below) has the same issue…

      I just wondering, is there any official date to solve this by Wahoo? It is very frustrating 🙁

    • Hi Ray,

      actually, WAHOO is replacing my unit right now after I reported them this issue in detail back in April. Just to make this clear, the issue only happens when someone crosses the altitude of ~2000 metres (it is clearly connected to the pressure and not the value, because in my tests it always occured at slightly different elevations in line with the change in the sea level pressure doe to weather patterns.) It does not happen if you stay below or above this for the whole ride. In Europe probably more than 95% of the rides could in practice not even encounter this issue, since to cross 2000 metres, you need to go and ride high up in the Alps of the Pyrenees…

      So my question is: do you have test rides that cross this altitude, or do you know people with a Bolt that regularly climb across this elevation so we can see that this issue is restricted to given units, or is actually worse than it seems.

      Even with a replacement unit I would like to know, since I don’t want to be surprised on my next epic mountainous ride. And it is difficult to make these tests in Belgium 😀

    • AndreA

      Peter, I live in nothern Italy, and I’m planning to ride a couple of cross-2000s rides in a month or so.

      And I reported here already some oddities I found with elevation (actually indirectly, looking at estimated power in strava, which is based on elevation) which apply to all rides I’ve done since I bought the Bolt.

      I’ll report back any inconsistencies here, in case I something went wrong (and I hope not, as they will actually be “my next epic mountainous rides”.

    • Hi AndreA,

      thanks in advance. Regarding your issue with the estimated power, the thing you see there happens with other GPS devices too (it was the same with the Edge 800, better with the Edge 500, and again similar with the 520), it comes from how the elevation data stream is recorded. Since every second there is a recording of altitude (e.g. 500,500,501,501,502,etc.), sometimes there is no change between the altitude values at consecutive seconds, sometimes there is, which introduces a large variation in the grade into the data (which is smoothed out on screen over a larger time for the displayed gradient value). Now it is actually the grade that is used for the power estimation, so if there are huge peaks in the grade, there will be huge peaks in the power. It was better with the Edge 500 because back then it recorded the data with a multiple decimal precision (so: 500.123, 500.245, 500.589, etc.) so it did not happen that consecutive fields showed no change on the climb. Later on Garmin ditched this and introduced that the recording will be more restricted to either integer values, or a ~1-2 feet precision, so stored values could only be integer multiples of e.g. 1 feet. Thus if in one second you climbed less than 1 feet then the elevation data for the consecutive points stayed the same, introducing a 0 grade for that second. It is stupid, if I was a software engineer in any of these companies, I would never let this happen. The only reason why this can be good for them, is to save storage space, but in 2017 when there is time for hundreds of hours of riding in a device, this is a totally stupid practice. Anyway, as a summary, this is “not a bug but a feature”…

    • Rob

      This happened to me today climbing the Stelvio Pass in Italy. Once I crossed 2,426 meters in altitude, all of the following altitude readings were zero for the rest of the climb and the descent.

    • Rob

      Climbing the Gavia pass today this happened again. I stopped and rebooted the bolt at the base of the climb in Bormio, which is say at 4,000 ft, and after I reached 7,870 ft the elevation readings from the bolt were always zero. All the other rides I’ve done where the climbs top out at 6.5k ft seem fine. I filed a support ticket with wahoo about the problem I had up the Stelvio (crossed 8k ft and bolt elevations were zero for every reading after), but was told to look at an faq about barometer drift. I don’t think that a difference of 8k ft is acceptable to call drift.

    • Gabriel

      I’ve submitted a ticket about my issue yesterday (check post #719). seems the bolt is having a big issue on elevation. I read on Wahoo FB page that tomorrow is coming an update. I don’t think this will be fixed as you should have been told so, but who knows…

    • Wahoo Murray

      Hi Guys, we tracked down the bug, the baramoeter was getting a extream value and after this the elevation dropped to zero. It’s now fixed and will be in our next release (very very soon)

    • Mike

      I have been following these posts for a while and I pulled the trigger on the BOLT last week, my first cycling computer. Glad to see Wahoo fixing their products. I had an issue with my TICKR once and the service was great. I think I made the right choice again.

    • TITO

      Hello Wahoo Murray,

      I really appreciate your time to write here… It is nice to hear some updates about this issue.

      Is there any chance you let us know the date of next version release? Not exactly but some estimated?

      Thanks!

      TITO

    • Wahoo Murray

      We just released the latest update that includes this elevation fix and several other great improvements. Please let us know it anyone continues to any any issues, normally best to contact support but I will do my best to follow here as well. Thanks!

      link to support.wahoofitness.com

  52. Simon

    Hi, Is there an ability to program the BOLT to use it for interval training like you can on the Garmin 810 edge?
    Thanks
    Simon

  53. excellent comprehensive and detailed. the right level.

    a question, what do the different LED formats mean, a flashing row of RED??

  54. Brian

    Is there a way to display a decimal point behind the heart rate zone?
    I like to see the HR zone displayed as 3.4 etc instead of just 1-5..

    Thanks

    • Adam Rosser

      Agreed. I prefer to ride (and run) to zones rather than to BPM, but there is a big difference between bottom of zone 4 and top of zone 4. Having a decimal on my old (now broken) Garmin was useful, and I even wrote an app for my Ambit 3 to give the same benefit.

  55. Steve Loos

    Follow up from my post on May 6. The elevation issue is not fixed and is definitely an issue. It really only craps out above 6,000 ft. Elevation. Today I was riding and the feet climbing was all good until all of the sudden it went from like 1,200 ft. Climb to some crazy number like 174,000 ft. Climbed. See the photo attached. For the next 30 miles of my ride it kept increasing that huge number and at the end of the ride it failed to upload to my Strava. I had to go into the app to manually update it to Strava. Super frustrating and I’m not so sure there’s an easy fix or else they would have already done it because several people have reported this to Wahoo (I was one of them when I called and they said the owner is well aware of the issue and is working to fix it). Maybe the Garmins would crap out at high elevation but most likely not like this one did today. Not sure how it got the ridiculously high number for feet climbed.

  56. Adam S.

    Does anyone know what the vertical lines on the Bolt’s climbing page represent? I figure it’s distance, but can’t tell what distance. I don’t see a scale on the graphic. A mile or kilometer would make sense, but I’m not sure that’s it.

  57. Maarten

    Anyone else experience the BOLT becoming slower in switching pages and updating TBT the longer your ride? All quick and snappy under 40km, slowing down to 15-20 seconds when nearing 100km, to > 1minute to switch between pages when reaching 200km.

    • I have never had this issue, not even after riding for 9 hours.

    • maarten

      Thanks for sharing your observations Peter. Did you have live tracking on? I had it switched on, and had someone else suggest it might actually be related to the fact that then also wants to display all other elemnt users in your vicinity when switching to the maps page.

      Not sure why it would be slow to switch away from that page then.

      My further setup: 2 pages, 7 fields on data, 4 on maps, ‘old’ garmin speed/cadence sensor and HR sensor connected. Live track on.

    • I had that off, so that might be a difference indeed. I have a bunch of sensors too, and use many pages with multiple fields / map, so that can’t be it.

    • Phil

      Did a 100km 1900+ ride last week, live track on, TBT off, speed/cadence + HR sensor connected.
      after a while changing from the data page to the elevation page with the graph was slower and slower (3-5 seconds) but nothing compared to your problem.

  58. Chris K

    Today I did a 45 mile ride with the Bolt, which seemed fine when I ended and uploaded the ride however only the first 7 miles where uploaded to strava. When I checked the Bolt history it showed the whole 45 mile ride. I tried connecting the Bolt via USB to the PC and uploading the file again but Strava said it was a duplicate so I had to delete the first upload from Strava first, the second upload was fine. I then checked the Elemnt app and again only the first 7 miles where recorded. I tried deleting this ride on the app to upload it again but have found that this actually deletes the FIT file from the Bolt, WTF, why on earth would this function even be possible?

  59. Roger

    All my bikes are equipped with magnet free sensors from Garmin. Will the Bolt work with These? Thanks

  60. Ron

    Final question before buying element bolt. Is it true that Bolt does not support turn by turn using Strava route? I think 520 has this function.

    • Phil

      Strava doesn’t support TBT. A limitation from them, not Wahoo. This is in the article, including which services do support TBT.

      Cheers!

  61. Rich

    Hey guys… does anyone know how to change which field is highlighted in black on the element bolt screen? In all of the pictures I see, its either watts or speed highlighted in black… but on my computer, currently BPM, one of my minor fields is highlighted.

    • Phil

      The field in black is the one linked to the top leds

    • Rich

      Nope… that’s not it. I switched the LED’s to Power and it wasn’t black…. neither was the HR so that’s interesting.

    • Rob Stephenson

      Hi Rich,

      Did you get to the bottom of this? Mine does the same and I can’t figure it out.

    • Wahoo Murray

      It should be associated with the LED’s (Left on ELEMNT, Top on BOLT). If you are not seeing this I can get the guys to check it out, it could be a bug.

    • It is not working for me but I think I have figured out why. I use “5s Power” for my power number because I find instant power to be to jumpy when trying to hold steady power on a climb or during TT’s. My LED’s do work for power, but the 5s number does not highlight. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but it would be nice from a readability standpoint to have this blacked out.

  62. Pete

    Does anyone now how to pair the Elemnt Bolt with Fenix 3HR? I want to be able to broadcast my HR from the Fenix to the Bolt – should be doable if they are both Ant+ right? I tried to have the Fenix find the Bolt, while also adding a sensor on the Wahoo app (with the Bolt on) and it didn’t work. Not sure if I’m doing it correctly or not.

    • Phil

      I don’t know with fenix but with my garmin vivosmart HR I put the device in broadcast mode and then I pair it with the bolt.

  63. Rob Stephenson

    Major Autopause flaw?
    I have finally made the switch from Garmin to the Bolt, very happy so far except for one thing which is a real problem. I use the computer to record my time trial races…while sitting at the start line I would press the start button on my Garmin and the computer would start but immediately go into autopause. Once I move off the timer would start. With the Bolt when you press start the timer just keeps running and will only autopause if you move off and then stop again. I have contacted Wahoo and they say the Bolt will not autopause at a standstill. Can someone else please confirm that this is the case. This is a real dealbreaker for me and I will have to return the unit if this is the case.
    Thanks

    • Johan

      Just press start on the 1st meter you move…

    • I am a TT racer as well and just had my first TT with the bolt this past weekend. I had read your comment and thought I had figured out a work-around. My plan was to start the Bolt as I rode to the start line, so it would auto-pause as I got to the line and waited in the line up and then I’d start a new lap just seconds before starting my race… I discovered a problem though. When the Bolt goes into auto-pause, there is no “lap” button. I hope that this can be fixed.

  64. Mühlenstädt Dennis

    Hey
    I am tired of the Garmin 810 when it comes to Strava Live segments. So maybe the bolt ⚡️ is the one to go to. But first let me ask you this:
    Does anyone know if there is
    a) an easy way to set all segments on a Edge to compete against KOM because by default it’s always set to someone you follow
    B) to store more than 100 segments on the edge

    That said, the Bolt can do more than 100, right?

    Thanks

  65. Gabriel

    I have experienced elevation problems today in a group ride. When I checked the uploaded data I found that the elevation was not symmetric, even though the route was. I checked one of my friends data on strava (recorded with a garmin 520) and it was as it should be, symmetric. seems wahoo is having serious problems with elevation, not only at really high altitudes as some other posts show. I am going to write Wahoo about this and keep you posted.

    • Gabriel

      UPDATE:
      I’ve got back from Wahoo on this:
      “this is due to changes in the barometric pressure reading and this was likely affected by temperature or wind differences. We find using the altimeter along with corrections based on GPS is the most accurate way to calculate this data. Although, this is something we will work to try to improve over time.”

      Hope they can solve this soon…

    • Rob

      Not sure what the problem here is. As long as the elevation is in the ballpark, what’s the big deal?

    • Gabriel

      If you check the image I attached I marked 2 elevation points that correspond to the same place in the route. There is a different elevation value for the same place after doing a loop. However, on a garmin 520 there is no difference. Also, if you check the elevation of the first peak on both wahoo and garmin plots, they are pretty similar. It seems there is a considerable drift on the bolt. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to have this drifts on my rides…

    • I think you guys might of missed Murray’s comment from last night (he’s one of the leads at Wahoo), saying they’ve tracked down this bug and it should be resolve very very shortly. Comment here: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Gabriel

      Here is the update details. Looking forward to test it!!!
      6 June 2017
      ELEMNT BOLT WB09-1422
      Strava Live Suffer Score data field (Strava Premium)
      Improved the accuracy of Strava Live Segments on the ahead/behind (Strava Premium)
      Cadence: Setting, from the companion app, to include or exclude zero’s in the average calculations
      Improved route syncing
      Improved the quality of the data after a mid-workout shutdown and restart
      Fixed an issue where a bad pressure sample could corrupt your elevation and grade data
      Fixed an issue where a bad power sample could corrupt your power data
      Fixed some issues transferring workouts to the companion app
      Many other bug fixes

    • TITO

      Hello Guys,

      Wahoo already release a new version of Firmware 1422 for elemnt:

      link to support.wahoofitness.com

      6 June 2017
      ELEMNT WF42-1422
      Strava Live Suffer Score data field (Strava Premium)
      Improved the accuracy of Strava Live Segments on the ahead/behind (Strava Premium)
      Cadence: Setting, from the companion app, to include or exclude zero’s in the average calculations
      Improved route syncing
      Improved the quality of the data after a mid-workout shutdown and restart
      ** Fixed an issue where a bad pressure sample could corrupt your elevation and grade data
      Fixed an issue where a bad power sample could corrupt your power data
      Fixed some issues transferring workouts to the companion app
      Many other bug fixes

      Please check for updates on Elemnt Bolt and it will download this new version.

      I am going to check this weekend if Altitude issue is solved and let you know the results here…

      Thanks!

  66. Tom

    I used the Bolt for the first time yesterday on a 50 km mountainbike trip.
    The Bolt works very well. The screen is very visible even when there was a lot of sun.
    The leds weren’t visable with the sun. I think I’m turning them off.

    Will there be a Whatsapp notification in the near future? The most messages I get, are Whatsapp, not sms.

    I’ve bought the Bolt without any other sensor. I use my Garmin HR-strap to measure the HR.
    Do you think the other sensors make a lot of difference?

  67. maikkeli

    FW update just rolled into my Bolt now in the evening when checked for updates. Looking good, will test on tomorrow ride!

  68. Mike

    For some reason when I was using my bolt yesterday during segments it stopped showing up. I did have it auto pause on me during a steep section lol. Don’t think it was that because it also stopped during a flat segment where I didn’t get under 13 mph. So I can’t see how far ahead I or behind I am. Is it losing gps signal or something?

  69. Nick

    Is anyone producing a silicone case the the Bolt yet?

  70. Luis del Solar

    Is it possible to connect the Elemnt Bolt to my Garmin FR235 to display the HRM on the BOLT while cycling?

  71. Brad

    Was really impressed with this at first, but it’s been alarming how frequently the Elemnt drops the connection to my Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor and my Wahoo RPM speed sensor–as in, it’ll pair, work for awhile, and the inexplicably stop working. Last two rides it’s paired with my Stages power meter and then about 15 minutes in, drop the connection to that, as well. And there’s no way (as far as I can see) to get the devices paired back without ending the ride and starting over. It’s not the *worst* thing, but it’s kind of a drag.

    • Wahoo Murray

      Sounds terrible and not normal, give our support team a call/email and they should be able to sort you out.

      If you are mid ride, you can delete and repair the sensor while the workout is running but obviously that’s not a solution.

  72. Stephen M Kusnit

    Good Morning DC,
    Wondering if you will be comparing the Hammerhead Karoo in the same chart set up with the others listed in this article soon? I’d like to see the matchup. Thanks!
    Regards,
    Steve

    • Yup, I plan to. Right now the feature-sets are a bit wobbly though in terms of what is or isn’t going to be in there.

      So typically I don’t put products in the chart until I’ve got a hands-on unit that I can double-check things myself, and then circle back to the company/product team to understand any gaps (such as planned features). My guess is I’ll be able to do that in the next month or two (pending a unit of course).

  73. Alex

    Right now the element bike computers are missing key functionalities vs. garmin which make them almost unusable: first there is no way to have a non-zero power average which makes any proper training close to impossible, NP is there but as everyone knows average power and NP are two different metrics and having both is key to a good training. Second, implementation of Di2 is closed to non existent: no support of synchronous shifting, no display of Di2 battery in page, no di2 adjiustment configuration page when you are tuning the FD/RD, no visual cues when about to change chainrings in S1 mode, no display of the gears in page, etc… These features are basic and I’d love to know the roadmap to implement these

    • Wahoo Murray

      Hi Alex,

      Unfortunately we don’t have access any of those Di2 settings via ANT, You can configure both text and graphical gear information on the workout pages and battery information is on the sensor information page, we also have several automatic notifications during and at the end of your workouts about battery.

      I’m not sure about non-zero power, we just added non-zero cadence, I will follow it up and check with the team.

      Regarding the custom configurations not saving, what OS are you using, iPhone or Android? We do not have any other reports of this not working, it could be a bug.

  74. Alex

    Another nice bug as well is that the app wants you to configure your Di2 sensor with the chainring/cassette, but it does not save any custom configuration, this whole configuration is just broken right now.

  75. Alex

    Garmin has had access to these via ANT for the past 24 months, so why not you?
    You are still not able to display the gears like 50-11 which is the most basic thing to implement…
    Other bike computers do this as well, therefore these are a missing key features.
    The etap implementation is missing as well BTW.
    So please no BS here.
    The non-zero cadence is implemented only in the app, it is still not working on the Bolt BTW. I guess the versions between the app and the device are not in sync….
    I have an iPhone with the latest IOS version.
    I do not really want to have to push that many button to get to a battery level information.
    Some other functionalities are also missing when it comes to sensors, but let’s stop for now.

    Another thing, how to do toggle in the live segment between goal, KOM, PR, etc.. as far as I can see I do not see this functionality available….

    • Wahoo Murray

      We haven’t been given any details on configuring these specifications for Di2, we can investigate. Di2 uses private ANT, so access is not controlled by any standard and controlled by Shimano. Displaying the gears in on the list, I will ensure I add a vote for you.

      eTap missing? We support all devices that support ANT+ Shifting, this includes eTap (I have a set on my own bike) and also Campy EPS.

      We released zero-cadence averages last week. XXX-1422 is the latest BOTL/ELEMNT version.

      You can toggle between the segment goals by pressing the “Vs.” button, its the middle button.

      I will follow up on the custom configs in iOS. Thanks for your feedback, Wahoo tries to be as open and as transparent of possible and I think thats very evident in Ray’s forums, I’m not in marketing, just a engineer who worked on ELEMNT and enjoy engaging with our customers.

    • Wahoo Murray

      Just a follow up on the custom configs, the guys are looking at it. Its a issue on both iOS and Android.

    • Alex

      This is the version I have and I tell you that it does not zero the cadence average on the device.
      You do not display the gears either for etap, don’t you?
      I understand but let me say that these are really basic features for anybody using Di2 and I would not recommend to switch from Garmin without these.

      Now, live segment, sorry to say but the middle button is inactive for me in this firmware release so no toggle between anything and I tried all possible button combination. Must be a bug I guess.

    • Alex

      Thanks. I already open a ticket on this.

      BTW would be happy to be a beta customer if you need one.

      Please also have a look at that non-zero power average, no serious cyclist will get an element if this is not in the feature list.

    • Alex

      BTW you already have access to the battery level and the gears. So displaying the gears is purely a firmware update and easy to implement, less than 1/2 day work being in the high tech sector myself.
      If you can read these two fields, you can also get the others I am speaking about.
      I am not asking to write to Shimano for now, let’s start by reading the data and displaying it. One step at the time. I would say 2 days of work for a good SW engineer.

    • Wahoo Murray

      Swing me a email, murray at you know what, we have a great beta team.

    • Alex

      Yes, let’s follow this by email.
      Can not find your email, but you have my email, ticket number #313718 or #313107 in your system, only two bug report, I was nice today 🙂

  76. Joe

    Count me in as another disappointed Bolt user. Used it side by side with a Garmin 520 for a week of riding and every single day the elevation reported by the Bolt was about 50% or less than that of the Garmin. I am very tempted to return the unit at this point if it doesn’t get fixed ASAP as it is pretty useless to me with inaccurate elevation data. On the plus side, mileage has been spot on and connectivity with iPhone also great.

    Will the elevation issue be fixed any time soon?

    • Alex

      I am not really disappointed since Murray has been a great support which you do not get from other vendors, especially one 🙂
      Bugs are part of the life of a product as well as you can not release all features at once.
      I just hope the two bugs I found today will be fixed quickly, and that the product management can prioritize my feature requests in a timely manner so that it becomes a useable device for my use.
      As I told Murray, they did a great job in implementing advanced features such as Live Segments, turn by turn, route sync, etc. but they forgot some basic functionalities/features along the way 🙁 Time to go back and add these now…

    • Alex

      BTW I would encourage Mr DC Rainmaker to add a note to outline in details the level of support of the Di2 support.
      It is a yes in the comparison table, but yet not at all the same level of support between Wahoo and Garmin which can create quite a bit of confusion.

    • Jon

      Was this week of testing using the latest June 6th update? Wondering if the elevation issues are fixed with the update.

  77. John

    This place seems the right place to express my appreciation for both DCRainmaker and Wahoo.

    I just acquired the Bolt and I’m really impressed. In less then 10 min. I was riding with the Bolt (which includes HR strap connected and Power meter – acquired thanks to DCR reviews). I LOVE how you can customize each page, add pages, reduce the number of data to focus on just 2 metrics – like in a fast descent where you can’t keep your eyes off the road for too long. All that is done so easily, I truly LOVE IT.
    It is amazing how simple it is to use it and at the same time how elaborate the customization can be.
    I also want to confirm the exceptional level of support from Wahoo (not tested on the Bolt, but on rpm and speed sensors).
    I ride in the French Alps, so I’ll let you know if there is still any bug when you reach high altitude!

    Cheers!

    • Wahoo Murray

      Thanks John, Really happy you enjoying your Bolt.

    • John

      I rode up to 1750 m yesterday (Chamrousse, French Alps), about 5750 ft, and I haven’t experienced any altitude bug.

      So far so good!
      This unit is so much better then Strava app on iPhone. Even small details like temperature recording are interesting (36°C up a big climb explains why I was slow!).

  78. Mike

    Did a century ride today. I left it run the whole time, no auto pause, had a route loaded, tons of segments, lots of paying through because it’s new and 3 sensors hooked up. Overall run time was 8.5 hrs and when I got done it was at 44% battery from a 100% charge.

    Super happy with everything except a couple times it dropped my segment i thinm because it lost gps. It beeped and flashed like I was off route. Kind of annoying when ur trying to PR but today wasn’t a big deal as I wasn’t pushing segments just trying to survive lol.

  79. Mike

    Ray or Wahoo Murray,

    I recently picked up a Bolt to replace my Garmin 500. After a couple of rides I can say it’s a nice little unit. The ease of setup through the app is brilliant.

    One question. Do you know if there’s a timer/alert setting on the device? By that I mean a simple alert that can be set by time (or maybe distance) but not an auto lap. I use this constantly on my 500 as a nutrition/hydration reminder, i.e. it beeps every 15 mins to remind me to drink or have a bite to eat. Very helpful on long rides.

    Thanks
    Mike

  80. Paulo Lobao

    Hi,

    I can confirm that NOW I can delete the custom workout pages in the app (android). Thank you Team Wahoo :-). But I cannot yet change the name of those custom pages!

    Do you plan to add an alarm function (just a simple alarm that will beep at a given time or like my SIGMA ROX 10.0, every n minutes where we can define n. It would be great :-).

    It would be nice to have the possibility to upload structured workouts too! Any plans to implement this?

    Cheers,
    paulo

  81. Dave Lipinski

    I don’t understand why the Elemnt/Bolt nor Garmin 520/820 don’t offer the feature to be a Bluetooth tethered GPS antenna for your smartphone. On my smartphone I have downloaded offline maps and given a good GPS location signal I able to locate and reroute myself from my smartphone out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell coverage. To do this today I carry a BadElf Pro, which gives me true GPS location w/o cell coverage. link to bad-elf.com

    I would like to stop carrying my BadElf and just have my GPS cycling compute be that true GPS antenna for my smartphone … but nobody seem to offer this as a feature.

    • I suspect a few reasons. One is that in the case of that device, they have a specialty app for it. So they use Bluetooth and have a special app that leverages their special API to access that data.

      And that’s where things would go downhill. Wahoo or Garmin would have to create/instantiate access for 3rd party apps to access that location data through a special API. Realistically none of the apps you care about (i.e. Google Maps or Apple themselves) would use that API, since they’d deem it too fringe. There does appear to be some sort of BLE location sharing API available, but I’m not sure if anyone actually uses it.

      Of course – none of this really matters because you can use GPS in airplane mode just fine w/o cellular/WiFi. Most phones these days have legit GPS chips in them, not just GPS-A. That’s been the case since the iPhone 3GS (for example) about 8 years ago.

    • Wahoo Murray

      iOS supports Bluetooth Classic GPS modules, but nothing on the Bluetooth LE side of things. Phones and Bike computers basically use the same style chipsets, in a lot of cases (Garmin/Wahoo/Android) they event use the same manufacture (MTK).

      GPS-A = GPS – Assisted, this simply means it uses something else to guess the location of the satellites in view to improve time to first lock. In most cases this means something like a EPO file, this contains the estimated location of satellites for the next 1-30 days, ELEMNT downloads this file every time it connects to wifi, we also plan to add support to feed this information over Bluetooth LE in the future.

      iOS/Android also can use WiFi / Cell towers to get low resolution location information.

  82. The Bolt is spectacular and I would love to keep it on my bike but I found several shortcomings that make it unuseable for me. My needs are specific to gravel grinders and may not cause the same problems for other riders. I ride 18-hour races, sometimes in rain and mud. The gps unit needs to be externally powered and the charging port protected. I also need room on the handlebar for lights, backup cue sheets, and basic bike computer.

    1. The out front mount for the Bolt can only go in one direction; out front. The Garmin mount allows at least a dozen positions. Front of bar, behind bar, on the stem, and the head can rotate in 90-degree increments. This makes the Garmin much easier to integrate with other equipment and protect it from hazards.

    2. The out front mount for the Bolt prevents the external power port from being used. The external power port can be used with the stem mount but the power port is exposed to rain and, mud, and accidentally being hit. On the Garmin the power port is on the bottom and I can configure the head unit to be behind the handlebar where the charging port is protected.

    3. The out front mount for the Bolt has metal to metal contact and transmits road vibrations directly to the head unit. The Garmin out front mount has a rubber cushion when mounted to the handlebar. Only when mounted to the stem is the contact metal to metal.

    4. The backlight on the Bolt only has one level. The Garmin has 10 levels.

    If Wahoo could address the out front mount issues I mentioned I would use the Bolt and ditch the Garmin 520. The Bolt head unit is far superior to the Garmin 520 but the Bolt mounting options are inferior.

    • Rob Stephenson

      It takes about 20 seconds with a scalpel to make any Garmin mount fit the Bolt. The Garmin will still fit the mount after the modification.

    • Dave Lipinski

      Thanks for your feedback here.

      I have not had reliable success getting ‘legit’ GPS on my iPhone 6. This could easily be a user error or a poor choice of which apps to use (just downloaded maps.me off apple store…lets see if this is better).

      That all said I do go on week long ‘cross state’ rides that involve camping and limited power options. Cellphone battery is precious and moving the GPS battery load to another device has its advantages. I will experiment with my cellphone gps, but I am suspicious the Bad Elf will remain in my kit.

  83. Reiner

    Some observations after 1 week of using the Bolt:

    Komoot integration only means to sync routes from there, upload of rides don’t work (they don’t support .fit, neither have plans on the integration to wahoo)
    The magnetic compass is a joke, it either doesn’t move at all or needs endless time
    Signal processing of the barometer is also weak, grade needs at least 30sec until it shows up. Short ups and downs are all 0%. While this indicates too much smoothing, the value afterwards oscillates by +/- 3% even if your ascent is constant.
    A lot of room for improvement still.

    • John

      Maybe your roads are too flat (or your unit is defective)! Yesterday I went up the Alpe d’Huez and my Bolt’s elevation was almost a perfect match at each of the 20 turns.
      Again, I have not experienced any bug, so either this is fixed or I need to ride higher roads!

      TIP: The bolt syncs Strava routes only on Wifi (not BT), so if you had created a route on Strava but forgot to sync it at home you can still just create a hotspot from your phone, it works (I did it with my iPhone). Don’t be confused with uploading activity to Strava, which is done by BT to phone.

    • Wahoo Murray

      TIP++ : You can send any route over BT, they just are not synced automatically. If you have a route on your phone, select the route from the Ride tab, if its not on the ELEMNT it will be transferred over using BT.

  84. Damien

    Really hopeful that they add the following custom work out feature come 2017 that would be awesome

  85. Felix Carbot

    Thx Ray,
    I’ve some trouble with my Garmin Edge 820 and Strava live segments.
    The is a limitation to 100 favorites segments​.
    This limitation is very frustrating if you’re based in an area with many different routes and a huge count of segments…
    Find some developer statement i.e. link to support.strava.com

    My question:
    Is there a similar limitation on the Wahoo Element / bolt?
    Thx Felix.

    • When Wahoo launched Segments on the original ELEMNT a year ago, there was no limit (just that sync might take a while). I’m not aware of any differences/changes since then, but I’m sure Murray can confirm.

    • Wahoo Murray

      No limits on the number of segments or the number of routes.

  86. Mark

    The Wahoo BOLT does not support all applicable Wifi standards completely! For example, if you’re in Germany and your Wifi sends on channel 12 or 13, the BOLT won’t connect. Limitations for US kind of networks are hard-coded into the device. 🙁 🙁

    • Jay

      A sensible design decision, especially for a small company. This means that the there is no need to have regional versions of device/firmware/certifications. One global version of each of the products makes great sense – though I appreciate that some users will find the lack of channels 12 and 13 an inconvenience.

  87. StijnD

    Why is my bolt not synching the goals that I’ve set on Strava? Since the latest update I have this issue..

  88. Kloekie

    I switched from a Garmin 1000 to the Bolt, do not ask me why 🙂

    The Bolt is a nice cycling computer BUT at the moment it is in my opinion not a good navigation system because it is lacking:

    – Pannen/Panning, scrolling in the map of the navigation screen, when a road is closed you will have bad a day with the Bolt.
    – Guide me to the start of the Route – is a big missing functionality.
    – The Companion App, is a nice App however for navigation during a ride it should not be needed. And if you are on a ride and you have to change you must have a good data connection otherwise it is impossible to work with.
    – Lacking FE-C.

    Besides that it is a good competitor of Garmin, but for the moment NO for the navigation function.

  89. Nigel Van de Velde

    I have been using the Wahoo Bolt for some time now, time for some impressions:

    Positive:
    – Ease of setup
    – Screen: Great contrast and readability in all light conditions. This is probably the biggest standout feature for me, just great
    – Easy transfer after the ride to several services. Sharing to mail and dropbox included as well.
    – I like the small summary of the ride you get after finishing.
    – Most of the metrics I want seem to be there. What I do miss is Time of sunset.
    – Activity recording seem to be as expected, no power/HR/GPS dropouts so far.
    – Battery life (8.5% per hour while navigating, only 6.5% while just recording)
    – Bluetooth connection and transfer are quick, even on my ancient Moto G 1st gen.
    – Navigation doesn’t go crazy (garmin style) when the route overlaps. Just using a cue sheet and not calculating the route in situ seems to be the way to go.
    – Navigation: easy to switch route travel direction (e.g. clockwise to counterclockwise)
    – No hassle downloading maps from openstreetmap, just select the ones you need from the app. I do hope they will get updated frequently and still will receive updates when the device eventually gets a successor.

    Up for improvement:
    – Language: You are stuck with the system language on your phone. I have it in dutch and most of the dutch translations just suck.
    Several terms seem to be the result of google translate, which deteriorates overall user experience, both on the device and in the app.
    In the app the power zone scheme is just wrong. The VO2max zone is actually written down as Treshold. If anyone would base his training solely on the app info, that would be a sure way to get overtrained.
    So please, let us choose the language or let us edit zone names ourselves if a language change would be impossible. Just using generic names for zones (e.g. Z1,…, Z7) might work as well.
    – I don’t like the thick borderline on the maps page. I frequently cross the border and it can be hard to distinguish between route history, route direction and borderline. There should be an option to switch this off.
    – No workouts (yet?)
    – The led background material is white, which makes it hard to determine if the leds are active or if it’s just the plastic that reflects some sunlight.
    Leds are to faint to spot the difference between green, blue and yellow during daylight time as well. Not using them so far for heartrate or power for that reason.
    Leds for direction would be a lot clearer when the red leds would be used.
    – No navigate to start of a route or navigate to the closest part of the route. Even if only breadcrumb style, this would make a nice and necessary addition.
    – No map panning, using zoom functions quickly loses lots of detail when searching for a nearby location.
    – Navigation via the phone’s “search for location” should give alternative route options.
    If this is not possible, it should allow for the addition of several waypoints in between current location and destination. This would allow to avoid certain roads.
    I believe the google service is used to establish these routes, in google maps itsel you get this option, so should be possible.
    – Map north up (and centered) during navigation. Personal preference, I get a better spatial overview of where I am when the map is not constantly rotating.
    – I would like a recurring alert (every minute) that the activity is not recording when movement is detected.
    – Better backlight control. There should be a better brightness level control and the “off” function doesn’t seem to be working. It’s on after boot and stays on until you go in and out of the menu. A night mode would be nice as well.
    – Navigation: information on roundabouts is not good enough, but I guess that’s more a ridewithgps issue.
    – No bike profiles of hiding of non-present sensor data fields.
    – Minor nuisances: some small bugs in the app (8 zone power scheme keeps reverting itself)

    Overall:
    Great device with lots of room for improvement.

    Kind regards,

    Nigel

  90. Damien

    Wait so your telling me this can’t connect to a stages pm with blue tooth smart? As my stages regulary drops ant+ to my old Garmin and that was the whole reason a bought the bolt. Looks like I may return it before I even open it

    • Wahoo Murray

      Correct, It will always prefer ANT+, it will connect via Bluetooth if the ANT+ is dropping out. We have 1000’s of customers that have Stages power meters and we do not have problems with dropouts. I myself have Stages on both my road and MTB bikes. I suggest you give it a go and if you do have issues then contact our support (or me). I’m confident you will not have the same issues with ELEMNT as you did with Garmin.

    • Damien

      I really hope so as once I open it my returns from where I got it go out the window.

    • Wahoo Murray

      If you have any trouble, let me know and I will make sure you are looked after.

    • Gryphon

      Wahoo Murray,

      “We have 1000’s of customers that have Stages power meters and we do not have problems with dropouts.”

      I just ordered a Bolt and I look forward to using it. However, one of the primary reasons I ordered it was to replace an old Edge 800 that simply will not connect to my Stages PM when it is mounted in front of the handlebars. So, this comment of yours gets right to the heart of the matter for me. Here’s my follow-up question for you:

      I’m assuming that when you refer to the 1000’s of users that experience no dropout issues with Stages PMers, that includes the option of mounting the Bolt out front?

      Thank you very much, and as I say, I am awaiting my Bolt with hopeful anticipation.

    • Damien

      with my stages power meter i did not see the same problems my garmin edge 520 had. i was able to keep a signal on my stages power meter. sometimes there can be a little sensor delay when i first start after a coast or first start but thats mostly on stages side. Like you i also sold my garmin as i was tired of the 0watts showing up mid ride. I gave garmin a long time to sort out there stuff as i was an early adpoter of the 520 but it never really improved so i was happy to jump on wahoo when i saw it come out with reports of not having any issue with stages and the micro drop outs that garmin sees

  91. Damien

    How often does the bolt pool sensor data 1sec ? Or is there options like Garmin has smart data interval and 1 second as options or is this unit using something else?

    • Wahoo Murray

      ELEMNT stores 1sec records, with the increased storage available and large number of data types recorded, dynamic recording intervals are no longer very useful and don’t normally generate smaller files, this was move a carry over from the TCX days.

  92. MJA

    For information when it comes to sensors, I’m using the following ones with my Bolt and everything just works perfectly:
    – PowerTap P1 L/R Powermeter and Cadence Pedals
    – Whaoo RPM Speed Meter
    – Scosche Rhythm+ Armband Heart Rate Monitor
    They were easy to pair, awake and connect seamlessly on movement, never drop apparently.

  93. James

    Just a quick question, i have just plugged in my bolt for the first time to charge…it came up with a battery graphic on the screen filling up, now there is nothing on my screen….is it still charging? and when will i know if it is fully charged? i couldn’t see it on any instructions. Thanks

    • Maarten

      yes, it is still charging. If you give a click on the on button it will show the battery level / charging indication again.

  94. Dennis Mühlenstädt

    Hey Murray,
    I’ve got problems with the Upload of my rides to Dropbox.
    Neither via Cell, nor via Wifi will the Companion App upload it to Dropbox.
    I’ve re-authorized the Account already.
    When i click on upload to Dropbox it’s starting to load, at least it says it’s uploading but then it freezes. Nothing happens anymore…
    Ideas?

    • Philippe

      Same problem at my end, no Dropbox syncing anymore. Did work during the first week, where it uploaded 5 rides. Since then, it gets stuck halfway through on my iPhone (iOS 10.3.2) Element version WB09-1422 Companion app version 1.9.1 (205).

      De- and re-authorising Dropbox gives me (again) the “The old version of the Dropbox platform is being retired on June 28, 2017. The developer of this app has yet to acknowledge the change, so this app may not continue to work in the future.”

      …and then gives a “Verification succeeded” while still being stuck halfway through uploading to Dropbox.

      So, in short, it’s kaput. I’ll copy the *.fit files manually by hooking the phone up to iTunes over USB. Allegedly this is also possible by hooking up the Bolt over USB and using the “Android File Transfer” app for OSX, nee, macOS, but I’ve been unsuccessful with that one.

    • Maarten

      Same here, dropbox upload not working anymore.

      For me the connection on macOS (10.12.5) using Android file transfer is working. It took a bit of fiddling in the beginning (connect/disconnect, on/off etc.), but now it’s working consistently. Connect BOLT to usb, power it on, Android file transfer will pop-up and show the file structure.

    • Philippe

      Thanks, you’ve restored my confidence. In the Android File Transfer app, that is (not Dropbox). I’ll fiddle with it some more.

      OT: your name sounds Dutch.

      Goede groet,
      Philippe

    • Maarten

      Vlaams to be precise 😉

      I would still prefer the easy dropbox syncing over the horror of using ‘Android File Transfer’ on macOS 😀

      Very happy with the BOLT otherwise. If they now improve the live tracking page (which I’ve been told they’re working on) I’m all good. Coming from the garmin 500 the minor niggles I have with the BOLT are of the same level of annoyance, but the ease of use of the BOLT especially in the setup make up for that. Overall, happy that I switched, especially also given wahoo’s track-record of pushing out real updates (haven’t seen any updates to my Garmin 500 in 3 years, other than support for new languages). Curious to see what’s on the horizon.

      Fiets ze!
      Maarten

  95. Damien

    Just got my wahoo bolt haven’t been on a ride yet. But is it normal for the zoom out button to need a harder push then the zoom in. I get the click for zoom out but it doesn’t zoom out unless I press harder where the zoom in if I feel the click it zooms in

  96. The Viking

    I’m getting a bike computer, basically just because I can’t figure out how to get correct elevation data in Strava from my iPhone 7. The Cyclemeter PRO app is supposed to get correct readings from the built in altimeter in the iPhone, but Strava throws that data away. Or “correct” it, as they say..

    I already have a Wahoo KICKR+ puls belt. Will the Bolt provide accurate elevation data in Strava? Could I get this from the RFLKT+? (I actually bought the base version of RFLKT by accident last year, without the altimeter.. Argh!! Never even tried it.)

    Should I rather buy a Garmin unit, and have full compatability with all major training apps, bike accessories and trainers – and at the same be independent of a cell phone?

    • Maarten

      the BOLT is independent of the cell phone. In that you’d need the app for initial setup, but after that you could leave your phone at home and the unit itself will do all the registration for you.

      The only case in which you’d want to have a connection between the BOLT and the phone is when you want the live tracking to be active.

    • The Viking

      Thanks, I didn’t realize.. 🙂 I bring my iPhone 7 anyway though, so it’s a shame not to use it as a bike computer; It’s water proof, has a big screen, camera, about 10 hours battery and with the quad lock case, it’s easy to attach/detach with one hand while riding.

      Is the elevation data accurate in Strava with the Bolt as device?

    • Damien

      elevation data should be pretty accurate but barometric reading do have there down falls if you ride threw cold spots or on coming storms they can go a little funky. from most people who tested the bolt the evaluation data is with in margin of error of other head units like garmin so its as accurate as you will get with bike head units

    • AndreA

      I have both.

      RFLKT+ provides good elevation data, it will show fine in Strava. But it’s old and hugely unreliable as a device. I don’t recommend it against the Bolt.

      My Bolt oftentimes shows wrong real time grade during the ride. It also shows spikes in the estimated power in Strava after the ride.
      However, Strava’s total elevation and elevation graphs display fine. To me, it slightly underreports total elevation, and most times when I climb and descend the same way I get few meters difference.

      Apart from this, I really hate the grade thing midride, the unit is solid and offers many good features.

      Minor things: 1. in UE if your wifi router works on some channels the Bolt will see the network burn won’t be able to communicate (just need to configure the router to fix this) and 2. it doesn’t always sync the ride automatically abs it gets in wifi range. Sometime it does. Somebody other times you better do that on the phone rather than wait.

    • Damien

      I had a garmin 520 before my bolt and founds its live elevation to be off sometimes. but since it doesn’t matter much since in the end it seems to lv out. I will turn my elevation field on to watch mid ride tomorrow and see how the bolt does. I feel there is some possibilities for wahoo to help straighten out the odd midd ride elevation as it uses a altimeter/GPS for elevation. one a side note stravas estimated power should be taken with a grain of salt

  97. Mark

    Anyone have problems with Strava uploads? Just got my bolt and did a stationary ride.it has seemed to wig Strava out. Had to pause the ride for nature,and for some reason Strava didn’t show a pause it shows my watts and cadence perfectly lv tell I resumed . On the moblie app it won’t even show power data at all ,all fields are blank. On the computer it shows data but all the avg fields say undefined. Training peaks took the data fine and shows the pause just fine so it’s some how Strava is not playing nice with the bolt.it may just be a bug with stationary rides as I have only put one ride in since I got it yesterday. I have sent Strava a ticket but do not really expect to get a reply tell Monday

  98. Mark

    Hey Ray or anyone who has a bolt. Do you notice the zoom out button being much less responsive and needing a harder push? Just wondering if it’s only mine and I should get an exchange or if it’s a normal thing?

    • Philippe

      I have the Bolt for two weeks now(≈10 rides), and don’t find anything ‘wrong’ with the ‘down’ button. I do remember it being non-responsive in the first week, but no issues ATM.

    • mark

      ended up getting a replacement and the replacements button works perfect the old one i really had to push to zoom out which was easier said then done if i wanted to zoom out on the bike. glad it was just that unit and its not just some design flaw

  99. Mark

    Hey Ray or anyone else with a bolt. Do you find the zoom out button to be less responsive,and need a harder push then all the other buttons? Just wondering if it’s only me or if it’s a normal thing for theses units. thanks in advance

  100. Scott

    Is anyone else finding the SMS/Email/Phone notifications on their Bolt being so flaky, they’re in dire need of dandruff treatment? I’m at the point now that I pretty much have to re-pair my iPhone with my Bolt every single time I turn the Bolt on if I want to get my notifications.

    • Philippe

      Flaky is the word I would use as well: sometimes notifications work, sometimes not. Apart from that, I think notifications is the wrong word here: it only shows push-emails, calls and SMS. No such thing as ‘notifications’ as that would imply kudos from Strava, WhatsApp, people viewing a shared photo album…any and all iOS notifications – which it doesn’t do.

      As for SMS, the only person still sending me one of those is ‘me mummy’.

  101. Peter Yeo

    Hi there,
    any idea if wahoo bolt will be able to pair with garmin 735? trying to see if i can use the heart rate reading to broadcast to the wahoo bolt, without buying additional HR monitor.

    thanks in advance

    • damien

      hmm not sure if the garmin 735 sends out a hr signal from the watch for other devices to recive. but a cheap Garmin hr monitor like there premium soft straps does not cost much on ebay maybe 35$ brand new and should be more accurate then a wrist based hr. or if you buy the wahoo bolt off clever training with dcrainmakers vip program for 4.99 then you get 5$ off the bolt and earn points to make a wahoo ticker hrm monitor only like 25 or something bucks.

    • Yup, you can broadcast from the FR735 to the Bolt no problem at all.

    • Peter Yeo

      Thank you very much, i have been reading your blog closely. thank you for the solid write up.

    • Peter Yeo

      thank you damien. thanks for all the good suggestion.

    • Damien

      np. I had no experience with the fr735 so i am glad ray was able to answer your question. heres a link to the vip membership if you end up going that route to buy the bolt link to clevertraining.com

    • Peter Yeo

      thank you very much, this is helpful

    • Anders Tholén

      Thanks for a great article and taking the time to repsond to all questions. A follow up on the question above: So in a Triathlon race, could be following the recommended set-up to have smoot transitions between swimming, cycling, running combining the Bolt and a garmin 735 XT, with garmins speed and cadence sensors. The cycling sensors (speed and cadence and possibly power sensor) should be paired to the Bolt, and then the HR/dynamic running sensor to the 735XT I guess, and then the Garmin 735XT should be set to “broadcast” the HR-rate to the Bolt?

    • I think it depends a bit on the term ‘smooth transitions’. When the BOLT is involved, it’ll act solo to everything else in terms of time and such. It can pair to the FR735XT for HR however, but it’s purely HR.

      Meanwhile, the Garmin won’t have any awareness of the BOLT at all.

      Personally, if it were me, here’s how I’d do it:

      A) FR735XT setup in tri mode, paired to all sensors. Also, have it set to rebroadcast HR while in an activity. When in race, simply iterate through each of the sports as you would, totally ignoring the BOLT.
      B) BOLT setup on your bike, for the bike leg only. While riding, just pay attention to the BOLT instead.

      That’s actually basically what I do in tri’s, with the exception of just using a different bike computer. But same concept.

  102. Joe

    I did a 111 mile ride yesterday on the Bolt. Everything was going fine, and on the wahoo app it lists my ride at the correct 111 mile distance but when I shared to strava it only documents it as a 46 mile ride. Anyone else having trouble with sharing to strava and having it record incorrect distances? This hasn’t happened to me before, and this was my first century of the season so maybe it has to do with the length of the ride?

    • Philippe

      Same happened to me to, just now. Ik did a 53km ride, but on Strava it shows up as 22km. So I looked at the Wahoo iPhone app, which correctly stated the entire ride. So I downloaded the .fit file to iCloud (since the auto uploading to Dropbox is also kaput) and uploaded the .fit file to Strava on a laptop. All software is running the latest version.

  103. Ray middleton

    I have stages power meter on my road and track bikes. We usually ride the road bike to the track, do my track workouts and ride back home on the road bike. I want this all to be on one ride. Is having both pm possible on one ride? Will the bolt change pm automaticly?
    Thanks

  104. Stijnd

    My device isn’t loading the segments goals i’ve set on strava (only PR and KOM).
    Anyone knows a solution?

    Already did a reset of my device, disconnected the wahoo & strava accounts but without succes..

  105. Darryl

    So my Garmin Edge 810 crapped out on me with respect to power recording from my Powertap P1 pedals. Those are an entire other story, mostly positive but a bit negative that I may post at some point. So I decided to borrow my friends Bolt. Low and behold the P1s worked with the Bolt and just in time for a ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Here are my likes and dislikes that I recorded as I rode back on the train from LA.

    Likes
    – Easy setup
    – Map upload OTA. Not sure why it has to use wifi though.
    – Climbing page but the gradient there many times was wrong showing down hill when actually there was a slight climb. A nice feature would be to automatically show this page when gradient exceeds a user preset value.
    – Wahoo app and showing most used gear and overall left right balance. My knee was not the best and the L/R balance clearly showed when I got injured and the slow improvement over the days.
    – Turn by turn indicator but as for the lights would rather have turn signal mode rather than the row light up (one LED blinking right or left)
    – Battery seemed ok on the long days. Normal 80 mile days had 43% or so. Would expect the element to last longer.
    – It worked with my P1s. My Edge 810 has really been flaky in this area since 6.10 update.
    – Liked notifications although you only seem to get text notifications and there are many others setup on my phone.

    Dislike
    – Cadence counting 0 cadence in avg. And as I rode the train back, I got an app update which fixed this.
    – Power counting 0 in avg.
    – Power zone doesn’t show decimals.
    – Ride starts even when walking your bike, no setting to start at greater than some speed.
    – Gear visual and gear numbers. Prefer how actual tooth count.
    – Not reminding you what is paired. Started many times without power meter being paired after stopping at rest stop.
    – Gradient reading. It was often wrong on inclines.
    – Not showing DI2 battery directly.
    – When sitting still in the sun the temp spikes vs while riding.
    – Not being able see my layout without having the device paired.
    – No timer reminders. I use these to keep my water ingest schedule on track.
    – Garmin speed sensor took a long time to pair. Worked on it for 30 min. It finally paired but I’m not sure the Bolt was actually using it. No dense vegetation where I lost GPS signal to see if the system paused.
    – No mounting options on the bottom of the mount. I mount a light below my Garmin using the K-Edge. Buying a K-Edge for my new Elemnt.
    – Sometimes the app gets stuck scrolling.
    – Pressing on the button and getting screen artifacts in the area near the button press.

    Impartial
    – Lights don’t do much for me as I thought they would.

    There are a number of dislikes, but having data is more important than crashes and compatibility issues. I think I would prefer the bigger screen so going for the Elemnt. Without a Garmin update, my Edge 810 will go to my cycling graveyard box.

    • Damien

      I think power zeros are the normal if you don’t add 0s in power doing hard efforts ,and then coasting would result in a huge power number that are not correct.if your ride pauses when you ride the train your power number and cadence should not drop. the gradient reading being off is just part of most any bike computers as the use a barometric pressure sensor which on small changes can be off. it would be cool if it had symbols similar to garmin on the screen before you start the ride to show what was connected though

    • Darryl

      Thanks for the input. Wasn’t riding the train between biking segments. Was riding the train back from LA and writing this post while on the train. I will have to say that my Garmin 810 was far more accurate in elevation data. Total elevation for the ride was almost 10k feet low. Others with Edge units were within 1000 feet. Seeing that everywhere is NorCal has a climb somehow here on a long route, I really want a more accurate elevation calculation. And I think if the gradient was more accurate that could go towards better overal elevation data. Waiting till end of July to see what falls from the Garmin tree and what updates come to the ELEMNT line. Then choosing but at this point even with some crucial shortcomings power data is critical and ELEMNT records and Garmin doesn’t.

  106. Dennis Mühlenstädt

    On my recent rides I had the issue, that I couldn’t switch between the KOM and PR time for Strava Live segments. There was no function on the center button and only my PR was shown in the screen.
    Anyone a hint why?

  107. Arnold Sallay

    I’m wondering if there will be any data fields for running. I know this is a biker’s device, but sometimes a runner follows me on my slow, trail rides, and it would be nice to know the current speed in running terms (mins/km instead of only km/h).

    There is already a lot of data fields, I guess it could fit in there somewhere as an extra option, even without rebranding the ELEMNT devices as multifitness devices.

  108. Dennis Mühlenstädt

    Two questions:
    1) Round Counting
    Any possibility to count rounds like on Garmin?
    I’m always confused when i see Round 2 and it’s actually only km5 so far (so it shows Round beginnings, no finished ones)
    2) Beep when Segment ahead (Feature request?)
    Is it possible to add the BEEP to Segment switches as well? I’m missing quite often that the display already found a segment ahead

    • Damien

      round counting? you mean laps? it has a laps feature. but if you mean how garmin has an interval timer sadly wahoo does not have that yet. hopefully it will be added in the near future. Or do you mean something else? sorry for the confusion just not sure what you mean by round counting

    • Dennis Mühlenstädt

      Ah yes, Lap Feature. In German it’s called “Runde” – Lap is more accurate.
      What i mean is: If you have that feature activated on Garmin, it beeps AFTER 5km (for example) and shows you how much time you needed for that lap 1 (Runde 1).
      It helped especially on longer routes, when you have just Watt, HFR, and Cadence on the display to keep track on the km/miles.

      But on Wahoo it beeps BEFORE a new round is starting. So on Garmin, when i saw Round 8, i knew i had 40km so far and i’m totally used to that. If i see that now, i start calculating 😀 Because know i just started with km 36

    • Damien

      Ah I would sujest adding disatnace to 4th or 5th field depending how many you normally use you can see your 3 or 4 main ones and once in a while you can press the zoom out and see total ride distance if you want to keep track. At least that’s how I would do it

  109. Jeff

    I have read that the Wahoo cycling computers lack elevation accuracy. Has this been addressed? Also is there any perceptible difference in using magnetic vs gps compass type?
    I’m done with Garmin. Nothing like riding the fastest metric century of your life only to find that it recorded it as an indoor ride. That’s right. No Strava segments. No KOMs. NO PRs. The dependability, the amount of time it takes to lock on to satellites and the lag makes this Bolt release very timely and attractive.
    PS.. If you’re using any of the Edge computers for mountain biking and like me, dealt with distance accuracy, I added a speed sensor for the MTB bike and that solved it.

    • My understanding is those folks that were seeing elevation issues (not everyone, just some), saw it fixed within the early June firmware update. I haven’t seen any chatter about it since (I don’t think I missed any, anyways).

      As for having the unit on indoor/GPS-off mode, honestly both units will be the same there. If it’s set on that mode and you go riding, it’s going to lack all the same things as the Garmin. No different really. And as for mountain biking, both will be the same there as well – you basically need a speed sensor for any useful distance accuracy.

    • Steve

      I started riding with the Bolt a few weeks ago and found that Strava under reported distances when riding singletrack. Not surprising due to lots of turns, tree cover, etc. I added a Wahoo speed sensor and the distances on the Wahoo app and uploads to Ride with GPS both matched and seemed accurate but Strava still under reports distances. The last ride it was off by almost two miles in a 22 mile ride.

      I tried deleting the Strava ride and importing the track from RWGPS but the results was the same. Interestingly the 8 miles to and from the trail on roads showed identical distances in all apps, it was after entering the trail that the difference showed up. Any others experience significant Strava discrepancies when mountain biking?

    • Damien

      ah dang glad i just road ride so supper gps is not needed, strava will allways only use gps so a speed sensor doesn’t help it. i had heard people asked wahoo and they said it used gonlass but i am doubting it with all the reports of problems under light tree cover

    • Damien

      jeff one feature that you may like on the wahoo computers is they default every time to outdoor. so that oppps i left it on indoor mode wont happen. just rember to change to indoor when riding on the trainer or it will send strava for a loop when it gets imported

    • AndreA

      Ray, I still see elevation erratic values.
      On the average it works: if you climb 1200mt at the end it say di 1200mt. When you ride it oftentimes marks a 0% grade, or under reports grade, or gets stuck on some irrealistic grade fi a 5% when you’re 10+
      Also, the estimated power in strava comes out is totally off. It’s hugely underrated and useless. It’s spikes and valleys.
      You always say not to buy a PM if its not super accurate as the estimated power in Strava is, so I decided to go with Powertap onntrainer and Strava outside. Now it’s totally useless.

      I just didn’t comment any more because 1. nobody ever answered to me, even though I sent fileS along to support as requested, and 2. Had to unsubscribe from comments because they are so much so too many! Which is good for you, I know 🙂

      Cheers.

    • Damien

      that is just part of the beast of how barometric pressure works since pressure is not always perfectly constant as you climb or descend when viewing low elevation gains and loss it can be off in the short run of things. and if your powertap wheel is able to mount out side id also use it there as strava estimate is pretty useless even if elevation was correct 100%. plus not sure how strava estimates could help you mid ride which is one of the biggest plus of training with power is being able to pace your self and do intervals at set power zones

    • AndreA

      I had barometric altimeter before, and no problem with this. Also, the curious thing is that it was also wahoo’s.. and it was fine mid ride and afterwards. It had a number of other annoyances though..

      No, I think they manipulate data somehow, as they state in q&a (I posted it above), kinda smooth them out, to show credible numbers, and probably Strava just uses raw or a different sampling rate, who knows. I’m convinced nobody will tell us, as until now nobody did.. so there’s no reason to think it will happen.

      I used to change wheels, this by itself is annoying, but then there comes a point when you don’t really want to use outside the same tyre you’ve used on the trainer..

      So power to train midweek, strava weekend for me. As I seldom compete, I just use it to understand what the hell happened in this or that climb. Which now I don’t know anymore. 🙂

    • Damien

      wahoo does use barometric and gps for their elvation numbers where i belive strava uses gps only. If it only happened once so far id be inclined to say its possible a slight pressure change moved threw throwing it off but it vary well could have just as easily have been wahoo’s gps correction messing up also specially if this has happened more then once . But on the strava estimated power i have always found it pretty far off as there is just to many real world thing to estimate that cant be calculated in. if you ever want to side by side power vs strava ride record with a phone and record with you wahoo with your power meter and look at the difference it may be more accurate for you then me. also If it was me id re open a case with support they seem to sometimes miss tickets i had to reopen one of mine after going a few days with no reply back. on my ride tomorrow i will add a elevation field and watch what happens during a climb and see if i have any odd data for elvation

    • AndreA

      Add instant Grade, not elevation.

      As for the device behavior, I experience it every ride. I couldn’t check the 2000+ mt issue because I missed my training in the Alps unfortunatley.

      I have to disagree about estimated power, as phisics is something and math is pretty much straightforaward: in normal conditions (f.i. no hard wind in front..) it’s about weight, grade, and speed to climb.. and that’s it. You do the math and know the power you used to go uphill on average.

      Estimated power will never be precise as real power depends on a number of smaller factors such as air temperature, density maybe, mostly (in my experience) if you clean/lube you bike more often than not, and so on. It will never be exact or precise, but it’s in the ballpark.

      It cannot be consistently 25/30% lower, as it happens with the Bolt and Strava at these times… 🙂

      My belief is that the bolt records zeros / empty fields if it’s unsure of the elevation. They probably use some corrections, f.i. you will see the instant grade stucking in a lower number or zeroing down when the street suddently rumps up (which is pretty frequent here) or climbs mild. Like it’s unsure which elevation is right, and it keeps trying to error-correct keeping the last “good” value.. And maybe Strava just picks up the numbers with a some detailed sampling, or raw so those zeros/empy/averaged/whatever count.. However this last paragraph is not supported by any evidence or explanation from Wahoo, so it’s just an idea I made for myself.

      About writing again: no. I have written several times, the first ones many years ago when I had the Rflkt+ from their kickstarter campaign. It was very buggy, lots of problems, so I was giving my feedback in the hope to see them sorted out. Then I think I was kinda “blocked/banned”.

      Banned from support I was, but from their e-shop I was not. And this one observation made me buy several other producs (I like their approach to innovation, so I buy them) on other commerce sites. 🙂

    • Honestly it simply sounds like your barometric altimeter is either broke, or the holes that lead up to it are clogged or otherwise blocked.

      What you describe are those exact symptoms.

    • AndreA

      ..something we will never know until someone answers 🙂

      Anyhow, it’s unlikely to be the case as if you see the image the elevation curve is nice and smooth. I’m totally fine with elevation. On the other hand estimated power is totally random, and reflects pretty well what happens with instant grade mid ride.

      Of course it’s something I can live with.

    • Except, that’s not the data given to Strava. And that’s the problem here.

      To illustrate, let’s compare my two files (Edge 820 and BOLT) from earlier this week in the Alps. Here, I stuck them in the DCR Analyzer: link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

      As you can see, the elevation plots are nearly identical save initial offsets and slight adaption differences while descending (20m in total). The Analyzer plots every point in the .FIT file, at 1-second. No smoothing, no nothing. Just raw data. The exact data Strava has access to and uses. They don’t have anything else.

      There’s no ‘grade’ recorded in the .FIT file. It’s just elevation data. Strava then does it’s own math to determine the grade between those two 1-second points. It would further look to speed, in your case, to determine estimated power.

    • I can’t imagine that Ray ever said that Strava’s estimated power was accurate and worth using. I’ve literally NEVER heard anyone say that and given Ray’s attention to detail and data, I can’t imagine him ever saying it. My experience with it tells me that its perhaps reasonably accurate in terms of gauging how much average power you put over an entire length of a ride, but not for individual segments. It just jumps around way too much.

    • AndreA

      Okay, so I had to check that out 🙂 and I decoded the fit file of yesterday ride.
      Here are the data field contained:

      record 0
      timestamp(s)
      position_lat(semicircles)
      position_long(semicircles)
      gps_accuracy(m)
      altitude(m)
      grade(%)
      distance(m)
      heart_rate(bpm)
      cadence(rpm)
      speed(m/s)
      temperature(C)

      Grade series seems to track fine, also, it looks pretty sensitive tracking differences of 0.1% within two samples (one second).

      But here’s the problem I found: during a 1:43:52 hrs steady climb, out of the 6.655 samples there are 325 (5,21%) where Grade is positive while the relative two elevation points are constant. I will call those “Errors” meaning “error correction attempts”.

      GPS Accuracy is rated at 2 for 75% of the samples, and at 3 the 25%. Error rate is 4,35% for samples with a gps accuracy of 2, and a huge 7,77% for samples rated with an accuracy of 3 (mostly up in the mountain, in the forest).

      So it seems that as you say Strava calculates power using elevation: in this case those 325 times Strava calculates 0 elevation delta, hence 0 power. Here are the drops. Afer few consecutive seconds elevation goes back high in one single second. And here are the spikes.

    • AndreA

      Nor do I. And I didn’t even mean to say that.

      He uses to say that’s in the ballpark, when he says that a pm is accurate, or usless otherwise. That’s what I referred to.

  110. Damien

    hoping to see the custom work outs early fall vs late fall. but i am very glad they are working on that as its something i very much look forward to. at the moment my intervals get written on some painters tape stuck either on my bars or stem :X

  111. Paw Stegmann

    Got my Bolt a few weeks back and really impressed, but today I wanted to try and control my Kickr, but as soon as I select a route to follow, the grade goes to 100 and it’s almost impossible to turn the pedals, all the other trainer modes work fine.

    Anyone else having this problem ? (have tried abt 10 different routes from both RideWithGPS and Strava).

    /Paw

    • Eric Jackson

      That is exactly why I returned mine…. I really liked the unit but problems with Caleb and issues with trainer control made it not worth the money for me.

    • Eric Jackson

      That is exactly why I returned mine…. I really liked the unit but problems with KOMs and issues with trainer control made it not worth the money for me.

    • Wahoo Murray

      Hi Paw,

      Sorry about this, its been fixed and should be release in the next couple days.

    • Paw

      Hi Murray,

      Thanks your reply, look forward to the next release.

  112. Jeff

    When syncing routes from RideWithGPS, in what format are they saved on the Bolt? (gpx or tcx) I didn’t see an option for TCX with a custom distance for turn notification like I had when exporting the file for Garmin Edge820. Is there a default notification distance on routes when syncing?

    • Wahoo Murray

      Jeff, Just sign into your account using the phone app and routes are synced automatically to ELEMNT, not need to export and copy files manually.

    • Bob Pankratz

      Murray,

      I think that was really two part question

      The auto sync’d routes, are they pulling the stand default RWGPS gpx file which has a fixed “pre turn” notification distance. OR is the BOLT/ELEMENT sync process inserting/adjusting the warning distance. The obvious seems to be it’s using the RWGPS provided default. But my Bolt seems to warn me sooner than the same file on a Garmin but that’s totally subjective.

      Meanwhile, Premium users of RWGPS can make TCX files with custom “pre waypoint” notification distances. Since we can load those by hand (thank you team for leaving that potential) we can make custom TCX files for special notification distance and use them on the BOLT/ELEMNT

      I think Jeff was looking for a way to make that a default, where your app puledl the TCX files with a custom distance. Seems like something we should be asking of the RWGPS guys first as I bet they’d have to change some stuff for you to do that; and it’s probably something they could accomplish 100% on their end.

    • Wahoo Murray

      We talk directly to the RideWithGPS API service and this returns the a custom JSON format for the route. Waypoints work very differently than GPX/TCX files. GPX/TCX file are LAT/LNG waypoints and the bike computer gives an alert when you are within x distance (regardless of approach), RideWithGPS has the feature that you can move this waypoint back along the route (away from the turn) so you can get a notification before. We use distance along the route waypoint, and we start giving notifications when you get within 250m.

    • Bob Pankratz

      Thanks, Murray that clarification is really really helpful. 250m really is plenty soon and better than the RWGPS default for gpx files. Knowing it’s 250m lets the brain relax.

      So somewhere on the futures list is the options to make the 250m a user settable feature I suppose 🙂 (sorry couldn’t stop myself)

  113. Bob Pankratz

    Recently replaced two Garmin 1000’s with two Bolts. I will echo all the good everyone else has noted. Not going back to Garmin jail.

    Some Areas for Improvement do jump out Perhaps this list will help others.

    1) Bolt uses Random MAC Addresses; this is problematic in Secure Wifi Environments this should be a user disabled.

    2) The configuration of BOLT screens requires the BOLT to be turned on and connected; should be able to do this offline and have it update the next time the BOLT connects. Element app is unreliable connecting to the bolt.

    3) Road Grade updates far too slow to be usable in rolling terrains. Lower accuracy and a faster update should be an option, ok if it was separate from a more accurate altitude. (Does no good to know that the hill was 7% for 1/4 mile if it doesn’t update until after you crest it, imprecise is better than 0) Option: if navigating a route just compute the grade from the route data; the elevation map is there so some part of that data should be on hand.

    4) Timer function to manage fuel/water strategy would be welcome; can be down with auto lap if you don’t need to use lap function.

    5) ios Element app is often missing the “back” navigation menus, but tapping the missing spot does the right thing.

    6) Design the next version with LEDs that you can see in bright sunlight when wearing sunglasses; and you can have my money

    7) Manual ride pause should honor an Auto-Resume option.

    8) Publish a user manual for heavens sake; example: nowhere is there a proper list of what the LEDs (if you can see them) mean; especially the iterruptive ones for missing a turn etc. exampe: link to support.wahoofitness.com yeah that doesn’t really cover it. FAQs do not a user manual make.

    9) Add support for a ANT+ remote changing screens from a compromised position is dangerous.

    But love the product and can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • Philippe

      1. Excellent post

      2. I don’t understand why people say the ‘in-depth’ reviews on this blog are ‘the best’ when useful info like yours isn’t covered. The fact that many of these ‘reviews’ result in hundreds of posts from people asking questions should make the author post proper reviews the next time. Sadly, that hasn’t happened.

      3. I too have a few quirks with the Bolt, but prefer it over anything Garmin has ever produced for the bike.

    • Damien

      lots of good points there on the manual pause also doing auto resume they would need to make that an option to turn off if they do it. other wise i think when a lot of people manually pause there ride the pause it right before they are walking it to park it and would rather not have the ride start mid walk. or they need to let us set the speed auto start is set to start at, But you’re number two suggestion sounds quite useful to me. the brighter leds for the future device sounds awesome. the inaccuracies of barometer elevation is an issue id love to see solved by someone but is something i think is a issue that will not be solved for some time. the biggest feature i am looking forward to is the ability to create workouts on the device it should be coming in this fall update so i am hopeful

    • I think you misunderstand the point of comments Philippe.

      Generally speaking, comments here fall into a few buckets:

      A) People who didn’t read the whole review or skipped over sections and ask a question (I’d say upwards of 50% of comments on most reviews fall into this category). These people would be categorized as ‘review as too long, wish it was shorter’.
      B) People who did read the whole review and had something useful to add. This could be their own experience (good or bad), relevant to their own usage/scenarios.
      C) People who are trying to troubleshoot, and this is the first Google search result, so they just post here and hope for the best.
      D) People who have a question not covered above in text, be it asking for an opinion /comparison or just a technical thing.

      On the internets, comments is generally a sign of interest in something. No comments means nobody is interested (simple as that). For example, you’ve left many of your 100+ comments in the past that aren’t at all questions, but just random thoughts with your viewpoints.

      As with any device, different people will have different experiences. And different things matter to different folks. In fact, you yourself actually said almost these exact words about two months ago.

      So things that matter to me in the review might not to others, and things that matter to others might not to me. So stuff like changing mac addresses isn’t really something I care about. Largely because from a security standpoint it’s easily faked in a matter of 1-2 minutes, so it’s not something I’d bother to do in either a personal or professional setting. But that’s perfectly fine others do or are stuck downstream of that (not picking on Bob here). But since most corporate networks that have MAC filtering also have proxies, you’re solving one problem only to find the next.

      Similarly, the idea to have autopause re-engage upon manual pause isn’t something I’d want. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of what I’d want. Many times I’ll use pause when I go off-route briefly (like to get food/etc). Since autopause works on the premise of GPS movement, going into a building would likely easily trick it. So I wouldn’t want it re-starting after I explicitly told it not to.

      Similarly, I don’t have any issues seeing the LED’s in bright light with my sunglasses. But I don’t test all sunglasses on the market, so perhaps Bob’s are different.

      Also of note is that the BOLT manual is here: link to eu.wahoofitness.com – it’s roughly on par with what Garmin provides for their head units.

      Yet there are some other good suggestions in Bob’s post, like the ANT+ remote. But, I actually call that out in this very post as well in the comparison section. But that might slide us all the way back to item 1 with respect to people who post comments without reading the review.

      Just my two cents.

    • Bob Pankratz

      What where not picking on me? Gosh darn it I gotta try harder.

      I’m all in on the reviews; they are the best thing going. I was just consolidating a few point so google could better find them. And then mixing my voice in for things that would be nice to have. I would never call them lacking. The sneak-peaks here are more thorough than most “reviews”

      The Mac Address thing is a big deal actually as it deviates from a 20+ year standard. Google and Apple have the same tech for their phones (I think it was developed around ios8) but they have had the good sense to not do it as it’s a zero value add for its intended purpose of promoting personal privacy. It doesn’t work and it;s an irritant to those people the run public wifi. It’s a conscious choice to implement that feature, and it’s a failure not to document it. It’s compounded by Wahoo not providing a way to see the mac address in the App or on the device.This is not something I’d expect a review to catch so adding here in the comments doesn’t hurt. It cost me 2 hours to figure out why the bolts kept coming up on my unapproved device list, perhaps google can save someone else the time now.

      The lack of manual is still true; we all need to stop giving tech companies a pass on that. There’s a software spec so really 1 tech writer is all you need to document the non-obvious stuff. From my chair, Wahoo is transitioning from a simple device company the dongle, sensors, and kickr; to a human interface company. It’s incumbent on Chip and his leadership team to see that transition and staff up to meet or beat the standard. I’ve got way more wahoo gear than I care to admit, and I’ve worked ton with their support and beta efforts, they are really sharp people. I think it’s fair to expect a lot from that quality of a team. It really is sad that non-obvious stuff like what the LED flashing patterns mean isn’t documented, not in a faq, not in that manual link, and not in the App where you are supposed to choose what they do. Really it would be best to just add this stuff inside the App. then anytime you change the software behavior you just update the description in the App on screen help; that would beat a manual any day, and it really forces you to have a solid software QA process. It might slow you down 2 days on releases but it’s proven to really cut done on your inbound support requests. (someone help me down from this soap box I’m afraid of heights).

      Road Grade, I don’t’ think any reviewer could catch that. It’s terrain dependent. Around here Garmin was tolerable the bolt’s not usable. I need to submit an official report on that like I did about not documenting the rotating MAC.

      LEDs, I want your eye’s Ray, or perhaps Paris was really overcast during the test phase. That screen is so stunningly visible, that it’s odd they used “white” when off LEDS, they obviously glow brighter but they also reflect direct sunlight which makes it darn hard to see several of the colors they are using. The wife reports that same problem on hers. At night they are beautiful. They can fix that in a future rev of the hardware, or they can change the colors they light them up with to avoid colors near white; the purple shows up well as does red, but I’m a lazy pedaler so I only see the washed out blues and whites. Maybe I’ll just set my FTP really low and then I can see the LED and think I’m working way harder 🙂

      The rest yeah that’s just me adding my voice to the list of 1000 special snow flake options. I knew about the remote, consciously said I could do without it, but now still want them to either support it or make one so I can give them more money. I’m not item 1 guy; I’m pining for new features and enhancements guy.

      For a Gen 1 product, I’m happy, can’t wait to buy Gen 2. The beauty of wahoo-fitness is they really do understand that we vote with our dollars. I just wish I voted less often.

    • Bob Pankratz

      Yeah Damien, I meant to imply those should be options. I’d actually rather have the “hey dummy you paused me, but you’ve been moving now for XX minutes did you really mean to have me paused”

      But then I’d also love to have a feature that says hey you are going to faster than 50mph; I’m pausing before you mess up everyone’s strava segments because you left me running on the bike rack (user settable of course, guys in velos might actually go that fast). Just think how many strava fights that would solve.

    • It’s true, my eyes are actually abnormally good. 😉

      And just to be clear – I think it’s great that folks leave comments with what features they want/value. It’s how companies like Wahoo, Garmin, and others decide what to implement. While sometimes companies are really visible here (like Wahoo), I can see that most product leads at almost all the companies I review are actually reading and subscribing to these comment threads too…even if they never speak up.

    • Philippe

      Good points all around!

    • Larry W

      Interesting comment about the MAC address. I use a MAC list filter on my home wifi. Once I found the MAC address and entered it into the “ok” lost, I’ve not had to change it. Maybe I’m missing some updates, but I have not received any messages alerting me that the Bolt is not connecting to wifi.

  114. Rob Stephenson

    Perfect GPS tracking….

    I ride a regular 4.6 mile singletrack loop in a local woodland. Someone has set this up as a Strava segment but my old Garmin 520 never managed to follow the segment using the Livetrack feature. I always got the “off segment” notification. I rode the loop 3 times yesterday and on every loop the Bolt tracked perfectly. The summary at the end where it displayed my times for the 3 attempts was great. I never regretted selling the 520 but this has made me 100% sure I made the right decision. Great product, I just miss being able to set a timer to remind me to drink etc but I am sure this will come.

  115. Eric Jackson

    Hey everyone I just spoke with Wahoo this morning.
    they have an update coming today concerning higher accuracy for your location on Strava segments. Before you couldn’t see where you were at on a segment, now you will be able to.

    Additionally I had a long conversation about the braking issue when the bolt is controlling a smart trainer such as the Wahoo kickr or snap and they said they have addressed at so that the brake won’t go up to 100% grade when stopping so let’s see how it works.

    These are the two main reasons I return the bolt as I noted earlier so I’m pretty excited to see if this works please post your comments.

  116. Frank

    New firmware / companion app is a complete joke. My companion app is now half Dutch, half English.

    Screenshot: link to i65.tinypic.com

    Still no panning. Still no 39×12 style gearing info. Dutch translation is horrible to say the least. Still no way to set the companion app to English.

    Mostly Strava / Live tracking updates, functionality I will never use. Really disappointing.

    • Kloekie

      Indeed the update is a joke.

      Still missing basic functionality as language support and navigation bugs as also functionality in that area.

      Companion App on IOS is a drama, zooming into routes is a drama.

      I am also very disappointed in the support of Wahoo, I opened a ticket and the follow up was on weekly basis and was not problem solving.

      If Wahoo wants to be a competitor of Garmin and soon of Karoo, they will loose if they do not come with better solutions / queries of there users…. at least that is my opinion!

    • Eric Jackson

      Kloekie – since you brought it up I will comment on it also.

      For the most part Wahoo customer support is not good because you can’t get trough to them.

      I had the same issues with NEVER being able to get through to anyone, leaving multiple messages, and then having a return call a week later. (I am seriously talking about multiple calls during a day over the course of a week or more).

      When I was having the issues with my original Bolt their response was so slow I gave up after 2 entire weeks of trying to get help – I finally made contact with them, implemented a “fix” or tried something and I could not get back in touch with them for follow up. But when we were able to communicate it was great.

      Surprisingly enough, today I got through right at 10AM EST and had a pretty good conversation with them that makes me want to give the Elemnt another try.

      They are a young company and customer service is a real difficult thing to get right – most companies never do. I have provided some pretty heavy feedback to them about it and it just doesn’t seem to be changing. That being said, they seem to be a pretty good group of people.

      My opinion is they are woefully understaffed and they don’t understand their call volume models or they don’t even have any modeling to guide staffing.

      And there seems to be an issue with work flow management from the front office to the back office.

      Hopefully with the update today, the trainer control functionality will be fixed and we can actually know where we are IN the Strava segment (or back the unit will go again).

      Let’s hope that Wahoo can figure out how to successfully control its own smart trainers – I really like the Kickr Snap and all the other Wahoo equipment I have.

      And Murray if you read this I am really disappointed that when I talked with you guys today you were unable to expedited shipping (I am traveling and needed the unit ASAP at this location) even though I have had 2 previous units which were returned due to the above issues. Seems to me that Wahoo would definitely want to capture that customer that is willing to give multiple opportunities for you to get it right. Maybe I was being unreasonable about getting a shipping bump….

    • Hi Eric,

      I have to chime in on this comment based on your posted by directed to everyone at large and not meant to down play your experience.

      Two reasons for that. First, your experience is the opposite of my experience with Wahoo support and second I am a 35-year customers services rep that now owns a support company so my insight might be worth $0.03. I bet with your stick-to-it-ness you will get better support if you steal some of my tricks/perspective and add them to the most reasonable ones you currently employ. Hopefully, you then get the support you seek. End of the day, companies love people that stick with the product in pursuit of what they truly want. This post in no way is to down play your problems; just hoping it might help you or other readers. I personally love determined customers like you appear to be.

      To start with never forget that the support people at Wahoo want to help you; that is why people get jobs in support. They like to solve problems, it is not until they get into electronics for awhile that they learn the pain that goes with software bug support (not for the faint of heart). New product launches crush small teams, especially when it is a high demand item like the BOLT. As a tech company you cannot staff up for those events because you temp support people will suck and do a poor job; so you just have to brace for it and survive. Sometimes you even put non-support people on the phones (dangerous but sometimes necessary), you will be slower than you like, but you have a chance of having some quality remain. The alternative for you and I is a much more expensive product which does not work for anyone.

      As a customer, to get good support, first open a ticket. Due to staff levels if a company has a support ticket system; then that is the front door that leads to the best support; as it will be the basis for their entire approach. On the ticket, make the subject excellent, be organized and detailed in the body. Try and avoid contractions; contractions are meant for conversation if you can write without them; people will have a harder time assigning incorrect perceptions of emotion onto your words. Always ask for someone to call you. While all that sounds like a hassle but it is always worth the time.

      The ticket gives the support person details they can research, they can assign it to a subject matter expert, or it might even become lunch conversation with the smarter kids in the company. The request for a call gives them coverage to spend time on you. Call me is “code for” or I’ll call you grumpy. IF they do not call you in a timely manner, 4 hours normally, but realistically 1 day if it is new product launch; then you call their number and tell them you have an open ticket to talk about. (Also pay attention to what time zone they are in when you calculate 4 hours).

      If you do call; try and not kill the support person out of the gate; they know you are frustrated with the product when you call, people do not call and offer compliments; in short do not be frustrated with the human prior to them earning it. Ask them to help you. A positive customer makes me want to kill myself to help them. A grumpy one makes them look for the easy answer and try to end the issue quickly, quality be-damned. It is human nature and after 35 years I have not found a way to train that out of my employees, under stress the behavior always returns because it was learned in grade school.

      I have done this long enough to know there is a huge section of the population that calls in and believes you get your best support if you yell, threaten and demand. That never works, we just shake our heads at you and wonder how bad a life you must have. A properly built business can live without the revenue from the 10% of completely mean-people, you do not want to be lumped in with the customers the supplier has decided they can live without and who are not profitable to support. I know the old adage about 1 upset customer can poison the pond. Sorry, but in the era of the Internet, that is no longer true. The public knows about the grumpy sector and has learned to ignore them. It is important to not be incorrectly classified as that unreasonable customer when you are simply frustrated; the line between the two is thin. It is possible to be frustrated and upbeat, it is work, but very doable. Things like “Shipping charges” are often at the techs discretion. If you are the mean customer you will usually lose that battle. If you are the frustrated but shockingly reasonable customer you usually win, not always, but more often than not because the rep will emphasize with your situation. (I have personally turned down overnight shipping as unneeded and had it sent that way anyhow on numerous occasions, it works).

      In your case with the need for tight deadlines; ask if there is any thing they can do to “help” you out with your deadline avoid the demand and expectation. (I have no clue how you approached it; it is just the perfect example that you have given me to build on in the general hypothetical sense).

      This does work; my wife always makes me do all the calls to doctors, businesses, support etc. Because I always get A plus results with people doing crazy things to help me. My secret is that I assume companies with great products deserve great customers even when I am having a problem, I can still be that great customer. Besides I always pick the best products after researching the heck out of them, any threat to go to an inferior product is hollow, not something I want to do, and a lot more work than I have time for.

      Support is a two party relationship; try to not head into looking for a divorce and never assume your partner can read your mind. And remember it is never really about the money it is about the experience.

      Perhaps that will help everyone here; I am sure that it plus $2.50 from your pocket will get you a coffee beyond that I do not know.

      Eric, I do not imply all or any of these thoughts actually apply to you. Rather I find it a great touch stone to simply review the thoughts when things start to go bad. Since you self-identified as disappointed in a great company I thought this would be a good place to post these thoughts.

  117. Hammer

    Can anyone tell me how to get cues on a route using strava?

    • Bob Pankratz

      Hammer,

      You can’t. Routes in Strava dont’ have embedded cues; strava would have to add them on their end. But if you create a freemium account at ridewithgps.com you can make them; paid account not needed. Strava routes aren’t too hard to port over; I did 50 of them most in the 50-100mile length and it took about 3 hours not great but not terrible.

  118. Jonathan

    Hi Ray,

    I’m coping with a dilemma, in search for new navigation. I like the size, appearance and (colored) navigation options of the Garmin Edge 820; filling in an address and go. However, I’m hesitating to buy the device because there are a lot of complaints about it: frustrating touchscreen which is slow or even not reacting, rather long loading of routes (even up to 5 minutes), low battery life, etc.

    What to choose?

    Since on the market is also the touchscreen-less Garmin Edge 520, but which only has the option of loading in routes, not navigating on the spot. There is also the Wahoo Element Bolt you analyzed on this page. The device looks great, got much of the options the Edge 820 has, and has a longer battery life. However, it has no color-screen. — By the way, I saw an update now allows you to fill in an address and it routes you from your gps location. Does it also (quickly) reroute after taking a wrong turn by now?

    Which device would you advice?

  119. M@rtin

    I moved from a Garmin Edge 820 to the Bolt, and on the whole I prefer it. There are a few niggles that I’ve found so far:

    1. Slow boot/GPS fix – the Bolt has no standby mode, so it takes a while to power up, unlike the 820 which is pretty instant when in standby. I would love to see this feature on the Bolt. As for GPS, I leave my bike in a covered car park at work, with the bike racks at one corner. The 820 will get a fix there while I am unlocking my bike, but the Bolt has to have clear sky (and walking pace) to get a fix. This is surprising given that it has glonass and GPS. My old Edge 800 was similar with its first fix, and that only had GPS.

    2. Beeps – the beeps are too loud! Good on the bike, not so good in the office when you’re messing with it 🙂 You can turn them off, but only for starting/stopping rides. This means that it will still beep on power off, when your phone connects, and for Strava segments. I would like to be able to turn any/all of them off, and also have a quieter volume level. As a bonus, a simple mute toggle should be on the Bolt itself rather than having to use the app.

    3. Auto-upload doesn’t always work. The 820 was much quicker in this regard, it would upload by the time I lock my bike up and walk inside. The Bolt takes a bit longer, especially if using bluetooth rather than wifi.

    4. LEDS aren’t very visible in daylight.

    Apart from that I’m pretty happy with it. Love the clear display, the zoom buttons and the overall performance. It’s the easiest bike computer to configure, and the app is pretty decent. 3rd party integration is also great, with it syncing my routes from various different sites without much effort on my part.

    • Jonathan

      Thanks for the reply M@rtin! What are the main differences between the Garmin Edge 820 and the Bolt according to you, since you used both devices? For example, 3rd party integration of routes other than with Garmin Connect (for example routes created with Strava) seem to create problems/long loading, etc. on the 820. On Bolt these work fine, as you just said. Are there more things that set both devices apart? Would love to hear your input! Did these maybe had to do with your decision to but a Bolt, instead of keep using the 820?

  120. Jim Behrens

    Just wondering, because I can’t seem to find the info anywhere I have looked, how many “profiles/sensors” does the Bolt handle?
    My Joule can hold 10 different profiles whereas my old Garmin held only 3. Obviously, the more the better.
    Does anyone know the answer?
    Thanx

    • Wahoo Murray

      BOLT Doesn’t use profiles. You can pair as many sensors as you like. BOLT will connect to whatever sensors are on and transmitting valid data.

    • Jonathan

      @Wahoo Murray. The only way to create routes while on the bike is through the app on your phone? What are the routing-options within the device itself? For example, the Garmin Edge 820 let’s users create a route on the device itself. Would like to hear from you.

    • Kloekie

      Jonathan,

      If you want navigation, with much functionality, buy a Garmin, if you want a good cycling computer with lots of integration such as Strava and so on the Bolt is good enough.

      The App is needed for navigation, you can not execute any navigation functions on the device itself. Panning is not possible be aware of that also go to start of route is not possible.

    • Wahoo Murray

      You need your phone to create a new route. Its super fast and easy, most people ride with their phones.

      Once it is created, it’s sent to your BOLT and you no longer need the phone for navigation.

    • Kloekie

      Sorry, the companion app on a iPhone is slow and not everywhere you have a good or at all no internet connection. I have had this problem because of a road block in area where I did not know where to go too.

      In my opinion it is a design failure, basic navigation should must also be possible on the device itself!

    • Jonathan

      Thank you both for the input. I agree with you Kloekie that basic navigation should be possible without getting out you phone and accessing the app. I can imagine that a bad internet connection, for example in the mountains/woods, causes problems.

      @Wahoo Murray: Is this maybe subject for a software fix in the near future? Or did Wahoo decide to leave this out well-considered? Same for loudness of the beeps while riding your bike, as noted above by M@rtin. Also rerouting seems to be not working properly on the Bolt.

    • Wahoo Murray

      Sorry Jonathan, if thats a feature you think you need I don’t see us adding it in the near future, everything is possible and is not something we have ruled out.

      You can’t control the volume, just not possible with the hardware.

    • M@rtin

      Hi Murray, maybe the volume cannot be controlled, but disabling the different sounds should be possible. At the moment you cannot disable the power off, phone connected, and live segments notifications. It would be nice to control each notification individually, but I’d take an all on/all off toggle on the device settings screen.

  121. Jim Behrens

    Thank you for the info.
    That was the reason I used the term “profiles/sensors”. I knew it wasn’t the official term but I was trying to be clear in what I was asking.
    Again, that sounds like what I needed to know so thank you.
    Jim

  122. Sick of Garmin’s wonky Connect and Edge 1000 interface as well. But, my Edge unit has been great at capturing data. There’s still bugs in the Edge firmware as v14.10! The Bluetooth randomly doesn’t work sometimes. I filed two bugs on forums recently and neither were answered. They can’t display a descent number greater than 10,000ft in a small data field even though ascent displays fine. I did Death Ride two weeks ago, and the last 5,000ft of descending just read “—“… The Strava segments don’t sync half the time. I have to go into the USB storage and remove the segment data file manually and then resync. The Strava live segment detection is wicked annoying. It shows segments if you’re traveling the opposite direction on a road like you would U-turn in the middle to ride the segment? And, if you cancel it, it will pop back up again immediately. If you cancel a segment, it should wait more than 1s to ask you again?

    But, like others have said, the Varia Radar is awesome. I just got the UT800 light as well. And, that’s awesome too. So nice not to have to manually adjust my headlight all the time. Maybe upgrade to the 1030 when it comes out until Wahoo supports everything.

  123. Rob Stephenson

    With the backlight set to “off” the backlight is actually on when the Bolt is first powered on. If you start a ride it does not go off. The only way I can turn it off is to press the power button twice. The problem is that in bright sunlight I can’t tell if the light is on or off so if I forget to turn it off it wastes the battery. Does anyone else have this issue?

    • Bob Pankratz

      re: backlight, yes but I thought I was doing something to cause it and hadn’t figure out why; so I check it each ride.

    • Damien

      :0 shoot just noticed this after i saw your post. and like you i couldn’t tell it was on in the middle of the day. but i turned it on tonight and the light was on tell i pressed the power button and then pressed it to go back. luckily since i ride with a power meter , and calibrate it before a ride i press the power button to go into the menu allready. But i can see this causing slightly lower battery life hopefully its a bug thats not to hard to fix

  124. Deepak Rao

    Do you need a paid account at ridewithgps to be able to upload routes with turn by turn instructions?

  125. dvir almog

    Hi,
    i’m using the elemnt bolt as my new device on my road bike.
    i’m using an srm power meter, after measuring and calculation i needed to change the slpoe.
    it’s possible at the pc8 and on garmin device, but in some reason, i can’t find where it’s done on the bolt.
    anyone has a way ?

    • Damien

      srm requires you to calibrate it you’re self? I would caution on that. as unless you have certified weights ect you could make you’re power meter less accurate. if normal weights are what you have they are not accurate enough to achive the 2% most pm claim as say you use a 10 pound or say a (5kg) weight all the weight needs to be off is 0.2+-lb or (100grams for the 5kg weight) and you have added another 2% to the 2% of the strain gauges accuracy

  126. Gus

    Hi DC, just wanted to say that based on your reviews I bought this ELEMNT Bolt and sold my Garmin 520.
    Amazing device and I don’t see myself going back to Garmin again. I love the (easy) way of adjusting everything to your own preferences.

    Every update I am wondering what new features are invented.

    2 things I hope also will be added:
    Navigation: would be great if the navigation creates new road whenever you missed a turn.
    Auto pause: would it be possible to get a auto pause automatically below a certain speed (what was possible with the Garmin)

    Once again DC, great site you are running and although I didn’t buy via your site I will support you with buying the add free site.

  127. The Squid

    I always used to use the timer function on my Garmin. I’d set it for 5 minutes to remind me to drink or stand-up. Does the Bolt have a timer function. I looked through the page set-ups and couldn’t’ find one.

  128. Nicholas Squillari

    Apologies if I’ve missed it, but does the Bolt still only have the capacity to store one power meter? Or is it able to keep multiple stored (ala a Garmin 520).

    And any word of whether or not a training workouts function is coming?

    • Damien

      bolt can have multiple power meters i think ray had a picture where he had mutiple on his list of sensors it could sync to. and the workouts function should be coming in the big fall update when ever that is

    • I have two PM’s connected to my Bolt 🙂

    • Wahoo Murray

      You have always been able to pair multiple power meters. We have no limits to the number of sensors for any type of sensor.

    • Nicholas Squillari

      My confusion. Read some more and seems the Elemnt (Bolt and standard) use proximity to pick the power meter. If you have multiple PMs and they happen to both be ‘awake’ seemingly it can be a hassle in having the correct one selected (you have to unpair the one you don’t want is what I have been informed).

      Again, happy to stand corrected. Only my initial question did not appear to be covered on your site Murray (at least from the pages that I looked at, which was all of them).

    • Barry D

      The only issue I have noticed is the Kickr is preferentially displayed versus another power meter. This is a bit of a frustration for me because I won’t be racing with a Kickr power meter to look at so the data isn’t useful to see. My gen1 Kickr also reads quite a bit lower than my Vector 2 pedals so they aren’t interchangeable pieces of data. Hope in a future update we can choose what power source to display when on a Kickr.

  129. M@rtin

    Is it really possible to sync routes over bluetooth rather than wifi? If I disable wifi, the sync button disappears so I don’t see a way to do this. It is odd that automatic ride uploading is not possible over bluetooth either. That’s one area where the Garmin 820 is better.

    • Adam

      No you cant sync all segments over bluetooth – my guess is this is perceived to be too much data (it takes a while over wifi). But you can send a specific route from the Elemnt app on the phone to the device over bluetooth – so its sort of a get out of jail if you didnt sync on wifi, not a replacement for wifi sync.

  130. Shriram V

    I have posted this at the Wahoo Google groups forum but looks like Ray’s blog is the more active (rightfully so) platform for getting some feedback. I have had the Elemnt Bolt for a few months and was one of the early adopters (have the T-shirt to prove it ;)). In general I have been happy with the device except for a few niggles. one of the problems I am having is Strava Live Segment dropouts. On roads with dense tree covers or poor GPS connectivity the device loses GPS connectivity intermittently and this results in the Live Segment being abandoned completely. And roads with dense tree cover are more common than not where I live. The 520 I have used to drop GPS too but the Live Segment would be active until it reacquired it’s signal and only lose it if it determined that I was off course completely. This seems to be a better implementation of a fail scenario than what the Elemnt does. As a result Live Segments as a feature is pretty useless for me. and based on responses I have seen in the Google Groups forum, seems like a lot of other users hit this as well and ended up returning their devices. Hoping to see if there are any plans to fix this.

    • Adam

      Yes absolutely agree. Its the only significant annoyance for me – as you say, it loses the segments way too easily in tree cover. The same problem exists for following a route as well – as soon as there is any tree cover it bleeps at you because it believe you are off course. It seems like it just needs a bit more ‘off course/off segment’ tolerance added.

    • Alan Hogan

      Shriram and Adam,

      After just my first ride in a dense climb my strava segment did the same thing. I was about 20 minutes into a 30 minute climb and it just disappeared. I had no idea what was going on. Are you still having issues. This was just my first ride with it. And on this alone I will return it if this problem continues. Any further thoughts?

  131. Damien

    Anyone here notice on there bolt or element with a speed sensor that it takes longer to pause 5-6sec vs if I only use GPS it pauses very fast 1-2 seconds.

    • Josh

      Yes — I called Wahoo a few weeks back about it and they had me reset the device and also the sensor (reverse the battery for 20 seconds I think). Didn’t do anything, but it seems to have improved with some firmware updates since then — though not perfect. And a bit disappointing since the purpose of the speed sensor is to improve accuracy. Wish I had a different make of speed senor to test with to see if it’s the Bolt or the sensor… My biggest gripe about an otherwise excellent device.

      Anyone else noticing this? I’ve never used a speed sensor with a device, so I don’t personally have anything to compare it to…

    • I also noticed that the auto pause takes considerably longer to activate than on my earlier Garmin units (and I have a speed sensor, have not checked without that).

    • Damien

      josh its definitely something with how the bolt pools data from the speed sensor. there was a fourm about it on wahoo’s google forum and people saw it with both Garmin speed sensors and the wahoo one. the oddness is that it starts up quite snappy i suspect the bolt may not be doing a 1 second sync time with the speed sensor hence why it takes 5-6 seconds for it to to notice you stooped. I also have a power meter and sometimes get a delay for power to show up so i end up with a second or two of a cadence value but power is still 0. but the power meter lagg just may be the power meter being to aggressive on sleep mode or something

    • Josh

      Makes sense, Damien. Noticed the delay it a lot more yesterday when I was doing a lot of start/sprint/stop/sprint riding on the streets here in New York City. Hopefully something that Wahoo can fix in a firmware update…

  132. MaverickNH

    I forgot my Wahoo Tickr X HRM last ride and had no HR or CAL displayed. Given I have a PowerMeter and Power as a variable tracked, is there a way to have a Elemnt/Bolt display calories based on power rather than HR?

    • Damien

      at least for me wahoos calorie tracker seems over zealous. But that most likely is due to it just looking at hr and i have quite the high max. I think strava uses your total kj of work if you have a power meter not sure if you need to be a premium member but your bolt should come with two months

    • MaverickNH

      Yeah – my MaxHR is 190 at age 59, so the formulas don’t work well for me. I’ll have to suggest that Wahoo use Power in kJ from a Powermeter to calculate Power in Kcal – it’s a pretty easy conversion.

  133. Nicholas Squillari

    Seems to be confusion online (and myself) over the capability of the Bolt to upload a ride, via WiFi, without the app running? Is it possible? I was under the impression that it was. However 3 rides now with my new Bolt and every time I have had to pair with my phone and open the app for the ride to upload. In spite of the unit sitting inside and within metres of the WiFi?

  134. Juan

    Hello.
    Could be possible for next updates, to change the direction of display, from vertical to horizontal (like garmin 1000)?
    Thanks in advance.

  135. Deepak Rao

    Bolt vs 520

    Initial impressions:
    1. 520 is far better built. Case as well as the feel of the buttons.
    2. LEDs on the bolt are useless – totally invisible in daylight
    3. Screen is more legible for regular use on the Wahoo, but the colour screen helps in navigation on the 520.
    4. Setup, sending routes and navigation is far better on the Bolt – the app is great.
    5. For regular use, without need for routing, as I would ride in Bangalore regularly, the 520 is probably a better computer.
    6. For travel, when riding new routes, the Bolt is far better.
    7. Set up is easier too on the Bolt.

    I am keeping the Bolts, as for travel they are better, though ideally a better built Bolt, with a colour screen, would have been the best option.

    The Bolt showed 20 meters less climb over 500 meters. This was only first ride. I’ll re check on a few rides. Difference in descent was only 5 metres.

    • Deepak Rao

      Request to Wahoo

      Garmin shows the HR zone as a decimal too [2.4, 3.5 etc]. The Bolt shows gradient and Kms with a decimal, so why not add the HR in a similar fashion?

      It will show at a glance whether you are in upper or lower region of a given zone, without having to see the HR itself.

  136. Deepak Rao

    Request to Wahoo

    Garmin shows the HR zone as a decimal too [2.4, 3.5 etc]. The Bolt shows gradient and Kms with a decimal, so why not add the HR in a similar fashion?

    It will show at a glance whether you are in upper or lower region of a given zone, without having to see the HR itself.

  137. Reu

    Drives me nuts that the included mount can’t get the Bolt centered on my bike, just 2-3mm off to the left. My OCD wouldn’t allow it to stay that way so I had to get an aftermarket mount forgoing the aero benefits. I have have a Bontrager Pro stem and I see in the photos that it looks like it wasn’t mounted centered on the above rental bike either.

    Does anyone know if the Bolt Support Waypoints (e.g. water stops) from Ride with GPS if I upgrade from the free profile?

  138. Deepak Rao

    Serious issue with this unit.

    I took the Wahoo alongwith my old 520 for a hike.

    Total ascent was about 1000 + metres, as was the descent. The Garmin recorderded it absolutely spot on, but the Wahoo showed some absurd 40 metres ascent/descent.

    How can this be, especially when the Wahoo recorded the actual elevation absolutely accurately thruout the hike?

    See attached screenshot.

    • Damien

      maybe auto pause how long did the hike show up for on the garmin as 1000+ meters seems like a lot for a 4km hike but i gusse it could have been a very steep one. could also have been there gps correction going a little hay wire what does the data on the bolt say vs what the uploaded ride

    • I’d also be curious about how it was held/mounted/etc… Or simply just an overlay of what the two elevation plots look like.

      Also, that appears to be a 3rd party app – how does it show on something else, like Strava, or similar?

      (Random: Most elevation shortage issues occur when the altimeter ports are blocked/clogged/whatever.)

    • Deepak Rao

      Autopause was off.

      It was 5.5 kms or so with 1100 meters gain.

      Data on the bolt also shows 40 meters ascent, but it showed 1180 at start of climb and 2231 at end of climb, so it was showing and measuring ‘elevation’ correctly, but not recording the gain/loss.

    • Can you post a .FIT file somewhere, or a link to the activity? It records elevation for each second, so I’d be really curious what that elevation plot looks like.

    • Deepak Rao

      Both were in my pocket.

      The Bolt showed correct elevation as compared to the Garmin all thru the hike, but just did not record the distance and altitude gain/loss, which the Garmin showed correctly.

      The Bolt and its own app also showed the same inaccurate data.

      At the same time, the bolt shows the gain/loss fine when on a bike ride.

      Forgot to mention that this was on 2 bolts [mine and wife’s] and one Garmin [my old 520], and both Bolts behaved similarly. Maybe at a slow pace it just does not record the gain/loss?

    • Wahoo Murray

      The Accent/Grade algorithms are optimised based on workout type, so not surprised it might have had issues with a ELEMNT in your pocket while walking has issues. Email me your workout file and we can take a look.

    • Deepak Rao

      Hi,

      Here is a link to the folder on Google Drive. It has the 2 Bolt files as well as the 1 Garmin file.

      Also see attached pic. The elevation, minimum and maximum are absolutely spot on, but the ascent and descent are completely off.

      Maybe the Wahoo needs some speed to calculate on the go? If so, that is a software glitch as the Garmin records wonderfully.

      link to drive.google.com

    • Deepak Rao

      Hi Murray,

      All files in this link. The Garmin did the job brilliantly. This is some major software glitch.

      link to drive.google.com

    • Deepak Rao

      Murray,

      Since it continuously recorded ‘current’ elevation accurately, I think the ascent/descent were not getting calculated, maybe as speed was too slow?

      Also the speed and distance were totally not even in the ballpark.

    • FlorinSTN

      If I had read all these messages I’m sure I would not have bought Wahoo Bolt.
      It’s 2019 and my Bolt does not count elevation when I do pushbike (at low speed).

      On the other hand..
      On the road bike I found a strange thing. My Bolt mount on outfront support records more elevation. I compared it with another device mounted on a MTB support.I did this test after I replaced a product on the warranty and behave the same as the previous one.

      Does it have any logic?

      The difference would have been bigger, but I changed the position between them for few kilometers.

  139. Dennis

    Hey folks,
    last sunday I took a ride with the bolt running on 21% Juice left.
    After just one hour something it was down to 4%.
    I had LiveTracking enabled, would you think that this is the PowerLeech on that baby?

    I turned it off then, but the unit died only few minutes later.
    What are your experiences?

    Any suggestions what will keep the unit up an running for longer rides and not starting off with 100%?

    • Wahoo Murray

      If you have a few cycles that you don’t charge your device to 100% it can throw the fuel gauge out of whack, from our testing you actually normally get more time in the later % values.

  140. Johan

    I have this problem since I bought the Bolt. It is not a big thing, but I would like it to work and hoped a firmware update would solve this soon or later. I do (did?) have a ticket at Wahoo Fitness, and they asked me to do some things (don’t remember what it was) to enable logging, It has been quiet since then (a 3-4 months now).

    If I want to create a route on the compagnion app, and search for a point of interest (cafe, restaurant,etc), it brings up places far away (other countries – mixed – not 1 country), instead of places nearest by.

    If I switch on GPS on my Moto G, and open Google Maps, the phone know exactly where I am, so the phone setting seems ok to me.

    Anyone else having this issue?

    • Reuben Neese

      “If I switch on GPS on my Moto G, and open Google Maps, the phone know exactly where I am, so the phone setting seems ok to me.”

      Given your comment, it sounds like you disabled GPS on your Moto G (to preserve battery life) when you search for locations in the Wahoo Elemnt app? The app uses the built in GPS of the phone, not the Elemnt Device GPS to know where you are. It’s that way so you can build a route when you’re away from the Elemnt. When I open the app, it knows where I am and shows local locations first.

    • Johan

      No GPS on MOTO G is always on

  141. Deepak Rao

    Wahoo need to get their act together.

    I carried my new Wahoo, and my old 520 for a hike today. This is not the first time. Had this issue earlier too, and have posted the issue a couple of days ago.

    See the pics. The Wahoo just does not record the ascent/descent.

    • Deepak Rao

      Here is the Garmin pic

    • Paul S.

      On a hike? But it’s not made for hikes.

      If this were a Garmin, I’d suspect auto-pause. Garmin cycling devices have a minimum speed below which they assume you’re not moving and don’t accumulate distance when auto-pause is on. You have some control over that speed with the various Garmin’s I’ve owned (but you can never set it to zero). Maybe Wahoo doesn’t give you any control. The first time I took my Edge 800 on a mountain bike ride up a climb I had trouble with auto-pause because by default the minimum speed was set too high for my pathetic climbing skills. For low speed activities (hiking, cross country skiing) I turn auto pause off.

    • Reuben Neese

      I don’t disagree that there could be a problem. However the issue would be much more compelling if you used the devices for their intended purposes for an example. If you get these issues on a bike ride, it’s an issue.
      Given you are walking with them, bouncing in your pocket, possibly going in and out of auto pause, and possibly interfering with the antennas I can’t get on board with your perceived issue.
      I say mount both of them to your bike, go for a decent ride and report back with the data.

    • I guess I’m confused. Murray (lead Wahoo engineer) offered just a day or so ago to take a look at your files if you sent them over. He also noted that it was highly likely hiking would be a problem as they didn’t optimize for that.

      Did you have a chance to send over? Also, keep in mind it was only a day or so ago.

    • Deepak Rao

      Auto pause was off on both the devices.

    • Deepak Rao

      Yes, I agree, but seeing that a Garmin works fine, and plenty of people use a cycling device even for hiking, I should think that Wahoo would want to rectify the issue?

      I for one would probably shift back to my Garmin for this issue alone.

    • Deepak Rao

      Ray,

      I had put up a link to the files. Did you get the files? I presume that Murray would have also gotten them?

      Here is the link again.

      link to drive.google.com

    • Damien

      I took a quick look of fit file repair tool and it appears the bolt just doesn’t know what to do when you are moving under a certain speed. so gives out a speed reading of 0 which must cause some problems when it calculates how many ft you climbed. I am sure wahoo can fix this if they get around to it. part of it might be a combination of steep and slow speed since gps accurate worsens the steeper the climb. but most of you’re hike had a reported speed of 0 mph on the wahoo so most likely its some kind of speed threshold bug. where as on you’re garmin file it seemed to have two sources for distance maybe my fit file tool is being odd but that could possibly be what helped the garmin keep registering that you were as the second distance was often moving when gps was not. but that’s just at a quick glance wahoo support will hopefully do a deeper dig

    • Deepak Rao

      Damien,

      Thanks. I suspected as much. Should be an easy fix, and I do hope they do it. We hike a lot and love to take the hike on a bike computer.

    • Damien

      you wouldn’t have happened to be using some kind of foot pod for the Garmin? It seems either that or garmin is applying some magic to calculate distance that varies from the gps distance

    • Philippe

      For hiking a Suunto would be a much better choice.
      link to suunto.com

    • Deepak Rao

      Damien,

      No. Garmins have always done well for us on hikes. Speed, and distance is sometimes not that accurate but climb/descent has always been spot on.

    • Deepak Rao

      Philippe,

      Thanks. Any particular one that you suggest?

      Just not keen to buy one more gadget, if I can get my cycling computer to do my job.

    • Philippe

      A friend of mine has the “Suunto Ambit3 Peak” and says it’s really, really good. He’s mostly a runner, but does ultra’s in the mountains as well. The 12-hour long runs that is. Battery lasts.

      Nowadays Suunto has so many models I really wouldn’t know what to suggest or recommend. I use the Garmin Fenix 3, which I think is a good watch. Bought it for my triathlons, and ‘works as advertised’. But I mostly run with it, 3 times a week. Triathlons I only do a few per season.

      Oh, on the topic of battery: the Fenix lasts a full triathlon, allegedly. I’ve never done a full. But I did do 300km ride with the Wahoo Element Bolt, and the battery was at 5% after the 13 hour ride. Well, 11 hour, plus a bit of sightseeing / rest / eat in between. So for those who cycle even longer I guess a PowerBank is needed. I had notifications off, backlight off, no segments synced and didn’t use the navigation, not routing. Only had 11 fields displayed.

    • Bsquared

      While a cycling computer isn’t optimized for hiking, its pretty hard for me to justify buying another (expensive) device to record hiking. Years ago I just used Runkeeper app on my phone for hiking, and that worked well. Recently I’ve been using my 520 with a “Hike” activity profile (disables auto-pause) and its also worked well hiking around the Sierras and Lake Tahoe ski areas.

    • Deepak Rao

      Bsquared,

      Exactly. I wish more people would take this up with Wahoo.

      Today did a 800 meter climb and the Garmin was spot on. I think this is going to cost Wahoo in sales.

    • Bsquared

      “Today did a 800 meter climb and the Garmin was spot on. I think this is going to cost Wahoo in sales.”

      I don’t agree. Hiking with a bike computer is an edge case, I’m glad it works on 520 but having a bike computer that supports hiking is a “bonus feature” and wouldnR