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Wahoo rolls out planned workout support, FE-C trainer support in ELEMNT/BOLT

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Today Wahoo checked off another box on the ELEMNT & ELEMNT BOLT series, by adding in support for executing structured pre-programmed workouts on both cycling computers.  In addition, they also added in support for controlling 3rd party trainers via ANT+ FE-C – meaning they can finally control non-Wahoo trainers.

Both items were seen as somewhat of the ‘final frontier’ of Wahoo being more competitive with Gamin’s Edge cycling computers, in particular the structured workout piece.  I’ve been toying with both for a bit, and here’s a run-through on how they work.

This addition continues what has been a pretty exciting summer for not just the Wahoo ELEMNT lineup, but consumers as Garmin and Wahoo battle almost weekly in the game of the best all-around bike computer.

Planned Workouts:

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First up we’ve got Wahoo’s addition of structured workout support, which enables you to download, import, or ride structured workouts.  Note that everything I talk about here applies to both the ELEMNT and ELEMNT BOLT.  None of it applies to the ELEMNT MINI.

These new planned/structured workouts can come from four different sources today:

A) TrainingPeaks
B) Today’s Plan
C) Import file (.FIT, .MRC, .ERG)
D) 5 included workouts: 3 Team Sky, 2 FTP tests

(Note: The ability to import .FIT/.MRC/.ERG files was delayed from today’s release…it should re-appear shortly in an update.)

For those importing from TrainingPeaks or Today’s Plan, it’ll automatically download these workouts to your ELEMNT/BOLT assuming you’ve linked those accounts within the Wahoo Companion App:

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As noted, in the case of Today’s Plan, you need a paid Today’s Plan account.  Whereas in the case of Training Peaks you can be any type of account holder (free or premium).

In addition, you’ll find five default starter workouts that Wahoo has loaded.  The first two are FTP tests (8 minute and 20 minute), and the next three are from Team Sky (of which Wahoo is the official trainer partner).  These include a sprinting, climbing, and mixed session workout.

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To start poking at things, I decided to create a workout in TrainingPeaks, I set specific targets, including wattage targets (based on FTP set in TrainingPeaks), using specified durations.  There’s no method/way to set RPM targets (which Wahoo does support):

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From there I returned to the BOLT, and then synced it as normal.  Within a few seconds the workout showed up:

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Now one thing that’s cool here is that the unit will sync 7 days worth of workouts every time it talks to the interwebs.  So the next time you power on your unit it’ll default to showing today’s scheduled workout as the starting screen:

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You can also just select it from within the settings menu, and list the sync’d workouts to the unit (including the ones from Team Sky).

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Before I press start to begin, you’ll see the target listed, but my actual stats are still N/A since I haven’t begun yet.  Also note how it shows 1/14 intervals since it hasn’t begun yet.  Later in photos you’ll see the number increased.

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With that set, I launched the workout, which was set to then control the Wahoo KICKR trainer I was on.  After pressing start, it immediately set the wattage point as per the workout and off I went.  You can see the prescribed wattage target listed up top:

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And then off to the side you also see my actual wattage.  With the KICKR controlling things, this was within a watt or two most times.  But of course if you’re out on the road (outside), or not using an electronic trainer, then you’re aiming to hit that target.

Again – to reiterate this point: You can use the workout functionality outdoors or indoors, no need for a fancy trainer.

The rest of the workout was pretty much as you expect, in my case with the trainer controlling wattage I was along for the ride.  You can adjust intensity using the scaling factor as well:

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In addition, you can also fast forward and rewind through the workout; useful if you need to add extra intervals, or if outdoors and something goes askew and you need to restart an interval.  An example being that somehow road-life got in the way and 15 seconds into a 5 minute interval you hit a stop-light.  This would allow you to reset the interval and start again.  Brilliant – something I’ve not seen on any other head unit.  It’s the two little << >> buttons.

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Then from there you can select which part of the workout:

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The unit will show you descriptive notes from the workout program as you count-down the last 5 seconds till the next interval.  What’s cool is that this count-down banner (shown below) will appear on any/all screens, so you don’t have to be on just the workout screen.  It’ll also chirp as well.

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You’ll also notice up top that the LED’s are illuminated, showing that I’m right on-target.  If I’m low or high, it’ll reflect that in the LED panel.

Once everything is done the timer will continue until you stop the unit.  This is useful if you’re doing the workout outdoors at perhaps a protected/secluded area, and then upon completion you want to capture the rest of the ride back home (for me that might be a 20-minute ride from the place I do protected loops).

And just like any other workout it’ll upload back to your platforms of choice, be it TrainingPeaks or Today’s Plan, or others like Strava and SportTracks:

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(For those curious what happened at the 21 minute marker…I stupidly dropped the BOLT trying to take a photo onto my cycling shoe and then kicked it across the room…and had to go fetch it.  Welcome to the real life of DCR.)

The whole workout piece worked really well.  In my case I used a workout in TrainingPeaks, but the concept is similar for other platforms.  Keep in mind the unit will carry-forward any target limitations of the platform the workout originated from.  Meaning that in the case of TrainingPeaks (for example), you can’t set a cadence target, thus, you won’t see a cadence target on the BOLT.  However, on Today’s Plan you can set a cadence target– and thus would see that on the BOLT.

ANT+ FE-C Control:

Next up we’ve got ANT+ FE-C control.  FE-C has been out for about two years now and is commonplace on every trainer in the market (except one).  It allows app software developers (like Zwift and TrainerRoad, but more importantly the dozens of smaller ones) to easily support new trainers without having to do anything special.  More recently there’s also a new Bluetooth Smart variant of this standard called FTMS (only Elite, TrainerRoad, and Kinomap support it today).

Up until now, Wahoo’s ELEMNT units only could control Wahoo’s own trainers, and did so using Wahoo’s private control method.  However, if you wanted to control another company’s trainer using your Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT, you were out of luck.  Whereas Garmin allows you to control any trainer that supported FE-C, and oddly enough, that does include Wahoo’s own trainers, which support FE-C (Wahoo’s trainers have for a year or so, whereas it’s the Wahoo head units that didn’t).

In any event, with that backstory out of the way, they now support FE-C trainers.  So simply put: The Wahoo ELEMNT series can control a non-Wahoo trainer.

To validate that, I grabbed the Elite Direto trainer, which is ANT+ FE-C compatible and went to search for it after pressing ‘Add Sensor’:

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Sure enough, it finds it without issue as an ANT+ FE-C trainer.

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What about spin-down or calibration?  Well, it supports it – but I couldn’t get it to successfully trigger.  This doesn’t surprise me though, as I’ve had problems with other head units and getting it to trigger a calibration successfully on the Elite Direto via FE-C (other protocols are fine).  I’ve long found that FE-C calibrations across the board are finicky.

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From there I grabbed one of the workouts from above to start off a short test ride to see how it’d respond.

No issues.  It changed the intensity as I went through the workout (I just tested different sections), and all was well.

I suspect that Wahoo will probably have a slight learning curve with 3rd party trainers over the coming weeks, as each trainer does FE-C a slight bit different (they noted they’ve already had to fix a few of them to work with the FE-C control.

It’s great to see Wahoo check off these two items, especially the workout control piece.  And in the case of workout control, I’d argue the ability to go forwards/backwards through an interval, as well as to be able to sync workouts from Today’s Plan and TrainingPeaks natively (with what is clearly a placeholder for other services) makes it once again a better implementation than what Garmin has done in these respects.

Which isn’t to say Garmin doesn’t do other things better (they do), but the pattern we’re seeing here is that with Wahoo adding these new features (I.e. Strava Live Segments, Live Tracking, and now workout support), they’re generally doing so in a more clever way – nuanced details that simply make that feature better.

With that – thanks for reading!

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159 Comments

  1. simon

    I’m still hanging on to my Edge 520 but the case to jump ship to Wahoo grows week by week.

    • Alex

      I was on the fence re my next bike computer for quite a while. I have never owned a Garmin but all of my riding friends use them so I am quite familiar with them. The 520 was the default/natural choice but after spending considerable time researching I decided that BOLT was the way to go for me. I bought it a few days ago and couldn’t be happier. Great piece of kit. Highly recommend it.. And the accompanying app is great too. What also helped me make the decision was that I sent a question to Wahoo customer support regarding using the BOLT with Trek’s blendr stem system and I got a prompt and useful answer.

    • Dan

      I’m not sure why anyone would change from a 520 to an Element or vice versa; surely the choice is for new buyers?

    • Edward Ng

      My wife dumped her Edge 520 like it was hot the moment the ELEMNT BOLT came out; she got sick of the significantly shorter battery life on the Edge 520, and in our densely crowded riding region, having to redo the base maps on the Edge 520’s puny memory for just about every other damn ride was WAY too much work. The ELEMNT’s built-in base maps plus, functionally, twice-as-long running time on one charge made the ELEMNT BOLT a no-brainer upgrade for her from her Edge 520. Not to mention the fact that she constantly had issues with her Edge 520 syncing to her phone (never a problem with her ELEMNT BOLT) and also constantly had sensor issues with her Edge 520 (again, NEVER a problem on her ELEMNT BOLT).

      She didn’t want an original ELEMNT like mine because it’s too big for her taste. The ELEMNT BOLT’s smaller form factor (plus easier to digest price) hit the spot upon release and she has never looked back.

  2. Bsquared

    The first step in all of my GC workouts is “Warm up – Lap Button Press” which works great because I have several different routes to get out of town and that takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Once outside town I have over 60 minutes uninterrupted riding.

    So with Wahoo I need to estimate the warm up time, and then use fast forward or rewind buttons to adjust based on traffic?

    • codyish

      In addition to being able to skip forward or backwards across the interval steps, you can also just pause the workout while the ride still records. So if you give yourself a 15-minute warmup, but it takes you 25 minutes to get to where you’re going you can just hit the workout pause until you get closer or get to where you’re going.

    • Fevo

      For workouts I also use the “Warm up – Lap Button Press” on my 735XT. It is a nice feature mainly because Garmin does not allow starting/pausing/stopping a workout in the middle of a training ride without stopping the data recording.

      The Wahoo approach is slightly different, and in my opinion better than Garmin. You can go for a ride with data recording enabled and start the workout at any given moment. So it makes sense to start the workout at the moment you arrived at the location where you feel it’s best.

      Once started, pausing/forward/rewind/stopping the workout is also possible without stopping the data recording.

  3. Am

    That’s it. That was the only thing missing to convince me. Going for the Bolt now. Thanks DCR, as usual you are being very helpful in order to help us make educated choices about fitness gear.

    Can’t wait for the Direto review now !

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  4. What’s your view DC on how this new feature compares with Stages Dash and Link? Worth the extra outlay for unit and subs?

    • It’s similar yet different. Kinda like Garmin, they’re all doing some things the same, and some a bit different. Stuff like lap summary screens on Stages is better (same with Garmin), whereas the whole skip/rewind on BOLT is better.

      I think there’s probably something to be said about the Today’s Plan/Link (it’s the same thing in this context) integration between those and Dash and maybe being better. But honestly I’d have to sit down and go side by side with units again and figure out those minor nuances.

    • Mayhem

      Just noticed Stages seems to have permanently lowered the price of the Dash to $299 which makes it real tempting. It’s just a shame that they went for their own mounting system instead of one of the already established standards from Wahoo or Garmin…

  5. Andrew Nicholson

    It will be interesting to see what features will be on the new Garmin 1030. Will they be able to out do Wahoo on the innovation front?

    • Edward Ng

      Apples vs oranges because of the price.

    • Charlie

      Why can’t fruit be compared?

    • Edward Ng

      If the ELEMNT is good enough for your use, why spend 50% more for an Edge 10X0? If only the Edge 10X0 will do, why even look at the ELEMNT?

      It’s just the same as trying to compare an Edge 25 to an ELEMNT BOLT; if the Edge 25 does everything you want, why spend so much more money for an ELEMNT BOLT? If the ELEMNT BOLT actually fills your wants and needs whereas the Edge 25 is not sufficient, why even look at the Edge 25?

      There’s a reason why Nissan makes the 370Z and also the GT-R; different price and different capabilities. You’re asking why can’t Garmin’s LaFerrari can’t be compared to Wahoo’s Mustang Cobra? Totally different levels catering to completely different level users.

      -Ed

    • Charlie

      It was more a tongue-in-cheek reference to a song/sarcastic comment about the phrase “apples to oranges”

  6. Easy

    Great review, thanks!

  7. Alex Masidlover

    Anyone want to buy an Edge 520! If only Wahoo had had this stuff in December 2016…

    Love the back and forwards through the workouts that would be awesome if Garmin did that. Not holding my breath though given that they still haven’t added the ability to add waypoints to courses in Garmin Connect. Or released a tri-watch that doesn’t disable my Mio-Link when swimming… Garmin seem far more focused on releasing as many different variants as possible with the ability to control a Tesla I don’t own.

  8. John

    I am holding out for the Garmin 1030. I would bet money that Garmin ups the game when they release that unit. Wahoo is getting better with each software update, but Garmin just has better engineers…

    • Tim

      Really? The Garmin user interface is just about the worst interface you can possible have. Not to mention the school boy errors in their software design. I couldn’t agree that they have the best engineers.

    • Anton Peterson

      It’s funny that Garmin haven’t resolved these issues earlier. I guess a few years ago no one else was really eating into their market share, but now Garmin are on the back foot. They dropped the price of the 520 in line with the Bolt and then the Bolt goes one step further and makes their features better. Garmin need to think very carefully what they do next.

    • ekutter

      Yep, software has always been Garmin’s achilles heel. Their quality control for firmware updates has traditionally been abysmal. Fix a couple things, break a few more. Look at the OHR issues with their latest FW release for the Fenix5/FR935. Sadly, the 935 had been the most stable Garmin product I’ve’ ever had.

      The only thing keeping me in the Garmin camp is CIQ. Here’s to hoping that the 1030 exceeds our expectations.

    • Wahoo Murray

      Thanks for the feedback, would love to know hi oe we can be better engineers, always looking for suggestions :)

    • Dave Cochrane

      Murray, as others have said, all we need from you now is a tri watch…the ELEMNT & Kickr combo is absolutely awesome. It’s a fierce challenge but you guys are clearly up to it.

    • The Real Bob

      As an engineer, its always a good sign to me when another engineer asks for suggestions. The best engineering cultures have a modest questioning attitude.

      Keep your comment section presence and be honest and Wahoo will dominate.

      Oh, and make a garmin 935 Wahoo clone!

    • Brian

      I second the Wahoo tri watch!

    • Alex

      For me the ELEMNT BOLT is not an option at the moment. There is no sync to the Garmin eco system. Placing the files in a dropbox and perform a manual upload is not the way to go for me…

  9. Andrew Burke

    So that’s the ELEMENT wrapped up. When are they coming out with a running/tri watch?

  10. Barry D

    Thanks for reviewing. It is great to see the structured workout addition. Only disappointment for me is that I can’t choose my power source for the display because I prefer to have my Vector2 pedals instead of the Kickr, so same data inside and outside. Still seem to be a chunk different in reporting between the two even setting the Kickr to be controlled by ANT+ meter in the Wahoo Fitness app. I removed the Kickr as a power source as a result. Would I be able to use the workout features without having the Kickr power data preferentially display?

  11. Roy H

    This is nice looking. Any details on how to do the workouts by a file? Im not even sure how to create those..also uploading them to the elemnt once they are created.

  12. Assaf

    Hi Ray,

    Will this be able to control the power of the tacx series, such as Bushido?
    Any idea if this works well?
    Thx.

  13. I ordered a Direto after you reviewed it and can’t wait to do these bike computer controlled workouts. It seems to be the perfect hybrid of engaged with set-it-and-forget-it training. Feel like you should up the watts? Bump it up and then just ride for a while. Want to ride easier? Drop the resistance and then… just ride.

  14. fisao

    Strong, reliable products that keep having functions added to them? Thanks Wahoo for making this market harder for Garmin. And I must say that despite myself being in the Garmin universe with my equipment, I am now ready to jump ship.

    Just a few more days to see what the new Garmin flagship will offer to counter this (and at what price!!)

  15. Sean

    No update showing on my unit – says 1507 is up to date. Hope it’ll show up soon.

  16. Thomas Wylie

    Thanks Ray.

    Just to clarify it won’t do powermatching yet (I.e control my tacx Bushido based on the output from my P1s)? Any idea if they have this on the horizon?

    • Marklemcd

      The ability to control my trainer with the power from my 4iiii would be awesome. I have a vortex smart and it’s always 10-15% higher on the power than my 4iiii. I doubt my left right difference is so strong that instead of 260w I’m pushing 300.

      This is a wanted update, but the power match would be the cherry on top of my sundae.

    • Barry D

      That is essentially what I was lamenting above using my Vector 2 pedals. Extra problem I have is if I keep the Kickr paired too then it shows that data instead of the Vector 2. Can you choose what power source to display in your setup or is chosen automatically (believe it is set to display the best signal by Wahoo, but could be wrong)?

    • Daniel

      @marklemcd.. Interesting you say that about your 4iiii. Which generation is it? I bought one of the first generation units and always had lower readings than the kickr would read. I bought some P1’s earlier this year and during a 20 minute ftp test the 4iiii read around 20-30w lower at around 250w (L/R balance of around 48/52). It was pretty good finding out my real ftp was 20w higher than I thought lol.

    • It’s not doing power matching.

    • Stephane L.

      @Wahoo Murray:
      Any chance to have it (power matching; use reading from power meter to control trainer) ?
      You can check implantation in TrainerRoad.
      Note: you already have this kind of setting on Wahoo Fitness App on ios with KICKR (control w / ANT+ Wattmeter…)

      That’s the best, because you remove all difference from indoor and outdoor training… using always same power meter !

    • Wahoo Murray

      You can configure the power matching in the Wahoo Fitness app, then just shut it down, connect it to your BOLT/ELEMNT and everything will continue to work.

      I’ve also created a ticket to maybe add support directly, just not sure if/when.

  17. Mark

    Can be such thing done also with Garmin 1000 + Neo? If yes, how :$

  18. James

    One of my pet peeves with Garmin workouts is the lack of other stats in workout mode. For example I’d like to keep an eye on my cadence while also sticking to my power goal. Does the Wahoo keep other stats visible in workout mode?

    • Andrew Burke

      You should be able to set a secondary target of cadence for any step in Garmin Connect then see both during the workout.

    • Katie Massen

      I did my first structured workout with my Wahoo ELEMNT today. The only important stat missing from the main workout page is the cadence. I didn’t see speed until I used the right side buttons to show more data fields. When I have a chance, I’ll see if I can add the cadence field. I saw power goals, interval time, heart rate data and that graph that shows me where I am in my workout. If I needed to see cadence or speed, I just used the page features to find the right page. I think it’ll take a few days to get the fields the way I want them. You shouldn’t have too much of an issue. Thank you, Wahoo! This is a such an awesome feature!

  19. stefan

    Will Wahoo introduce the the DI2 remote display changing function?

  20. Johan van den Hooge

    This is great. Have been cycling with my wourkouts penned down on my wrist too long!

  21. James

    Awesome update from Wahoo!

    Ray have you heard anything from them about timelines for bringing in other workout programs (specifically TrainerRoad) or is it going to be up to each company to support the Bolt/Elemnt?

  22. Blake

    Dumb question about FE-C. Why isn’t it included in the Garmin 935? I can download the workout from TP through Connect IQ, but it won’t control the trainer. I thought I was missing something until I looked it up and see that it isn’t included/supported on the watch. Why is that?

    • Anton Peterson

      Blake the 935 isn’t a dedicated cycling piece of tech. Running is its primary use with the option of allowing the uses to record cycling data. The Garmin Edge series is where you’ll have ANT FE-C. I believe the 520, 820 and 1000 will have it for sure. The 510 and 810 might have it also.

    • ekutter

      I’d disagree here. Correct, it isn’t dedicated to just biking, but it is definitely intended for biking as it is aimed at the triathlon crowd. Given that it is their top end triathlon watch (even above the Fenix5 as it has the quick release kit), it really should support this. Triathletes want this functionality as much as pure cyclists.

    • I’ve never really gotten a good answer there, but have discussed it a bunch.

      I keep waiting for someone to just write a Connect IQ app…but hasn’t happened yet. :-/

  23. Florent

    Ray, is it possible to set specific workouts based on RPM or speed when cycling outside ?
    I do not own a powermeter (yet) but would like to do some training with set goals.

  24. jason mant

    Loved the oh I also kicked it across the room nothing like an old fashioned durability test lol

  25. But with Connect IQ doesn’t that mean other apps could do a workout better then what Garmin provides and still give the Edge the edge?

    • Sure, what you see here on Wahoo from a Training Peaks standpoint is pretty much identical. In the case of Garmin though, the user does have to take the extra step to open the app and sync it, versus Wahoo just syncs magically every time.

      But yeah, CIQ in general gives other companies more flexibility, especially if they don’t have the clout of Training Peaks or Today’s Plan.

    • Eli

      I mean other apps that control the trainer like xert. So when picking which device is the best of controlling a trainer evn if Garmin’s built in functionality wasn’t good an Edge could still be best as an app for it is the best trainer controller

  26. Blake

    With Pacific Northwest (Olympia, WA) winter rainy season quickly approaching, I’ve been shopping direct drive trainers. Does the addition of FE-C control for non-Wahoo trainers mean I can reride summer routes on a Drivo or Direto using the Bolt?

  27. Brent

    “Not to say Garmin doesn’t do other things better”
    What, exactly? None of the advertised 820 features work very well.

    • They support more sensor types (and things like cameras, remotes, etc…), , they’ve got app functionality, they’ve got the ability to create those custom workouts not requiring a 3rd party platform (and with generally more flexibility). They’ve got re-routing support (Wahoo doesn’t), as well as the ability to download different map types (i.e. topo, satellite, etc…)

      Even if we look at FE-C support, at present Garmin can control it across more modes than Wahoo, though that will change.

      These features may not be applicable to everyone, but the reality is there are still quite a few differences. We could also talk about things like bike/activity profiles, crash detection, and so on. The point being it’s easy to say Garmin lacks, but the reality is the two companies are very competitive – just often in slightly different ways.

  28. Jo Chen Ha

    I like the way how Wahoo’s implement all these features. I hope the next great device of them is a fantastic Running/Tri-watch!

  29. Geoffrey

    I was about to stay time to get a Bolt…and then I tried playing with the Training Peaks Workout Builder….yikes!!! If anyone else knows a way to build a workout in one of the other supported ways please post a link. I thought Garmin Connect was unpleasant but man that was even worse!!

    • Yeah, while the GC one can be finicky from a software perspective (sometimes it resets things), it’s actually about the most powerful workout creator you’ll find out there, in terms of both ease of use and setting core targets.

      The updated GC site should make it a bit easier though if you haven’t played with it recently.

    • Geoffrey

      Hey DC thanks for the quick reply. Any links to create in FIT or the other formats or can I just convert my GC workout to FIT and then upload to Wahoo Bolt? I think TP just made me eat my words about Garmin. :P

    • Bill B

      I’ve never used the Garmin Workout Builder. Is it possible to export the workouts from there to be used as a manual upload once the Elemnt supports it in the future?

    • Andre Lemos

      I don’t think so, no.

    • It might actually be possible to grab the .FIT file that it throws to the Edge and then toss that to Wahoo once they add in the file import…but honestly, that all probably falls apart if you don’t have an Edge to pick it up from (or other Garmin device). There may be some hack/workaround that’s possible to fake it, but I’m not sure how to do that.

  30. husain

    I’ll probably switch to Wahoo as soon as the Varia Radar (or a similar product) is supported.

  31. Rogier

    Hi Ray,

    If I understand correctly, only planned workouts turn up in the app and the Bolt. With a free Training Peaks account, you can plan only one day ahead, so premium members do have an advantage over free account holders.

    Right? (hope to be wrong)

  32. Michal

    As for FE-C calibration. I successfully calibrated Vortex Smart with Bolt (full calibration took place with all the needed messages, offset number and clearly visible change in accuracy afterwards).

  33. Ken Edwards

    Hey… first and foremost I love the Element/Bolt and have decided to transition from a PowerControl 7 but there is a software glitch that doesn’t properly read SRM data (specifically) that it isn’t an option (yet). I wish they would fix the problem so I can switch and take advantage of an amazing product.

    Best,
    Ken

  34. The structured workouts are a great addition to the ELEMNT but it seems that to get the best out of the KICKR you have to purchase something else whether it’s the ELEMNT or a subscription to a training platform. It would be nice if the basic wahoo app got an update that would provide some of the integrations or structured workouts for those who just have an iPhone/iPad and just want to the occasional structured workout or ride a gpx route.

  35. Paul

    I just updated my Element Bolt and connected it to my Tacx Vortex Smart.

    Is there a way to control the Vortex in ERG mode from the Element Bolt? I can’t figure it out. Seems like such an easy feature to add.

    Are there any free apps that can be used to create workouts?

    • Michal

      Bolt can control Vortex in ERG mode through selected planned workout but also you can change wattage manually if you change mode in trainer control page (note: it’s different page than planned workout page, it appears only when you are actually riding on turbo trainer). Just tap ‘mode’ button and you will see explanations of any given trainer control mode on the screen.

      You can create and sync workouts using free Training Peaks account.

  36. matt

    always been a garmin guy, i just wish the 520 supported bluetooth sensors. I am in the market for a new one and i feel like garmin will upgrade as soon as I drop the money.

    the wahoo is looking like it may be the one to get

  37. Jim Hansen

    I used this for my workout this evening, and I could not be happier. The experience was super easy. Sync a weeks worth of workouts over Wifi. Turn on the unit and hit start. The UI is well done, the controls are intuitive. Everything about the experience was wonderful! I do 5-7 training peaks workouts most weeks. This is going to make my life soooo much easier.

    Anyone want to buy a light used (and much hated) Stages Dash? How about a trade for some old inner tubes?

    • Adrien D.

      Hey,

      Why do you hate your Dash ?

      I also have it and love it, just curious.

      Thank you

    • Mayhem

      At the right price I’d certainly like to try a Stages Dash! ;)

      Now that they seem to have permanently lowered the price to $299 I might even consider buying a new unit. It’d just too bad that they chose to make their own mount and not use either the Wahoo or Garmin standard as I already have plenty of mounts for my bikes with inserts for the both types of computer…

  38. Adam

    Got the update and a pile of weird behavior

    * Inside Rollers with the Smart Resistance thing (the new one, not early alpha) shows up as ‘Fitness Equipment’
    * Didn’t select a workout but the Workout type kept changing from Indoor to KICKR
    * Some evidence that TrainerRoad and the Wahoo were fighting over the FE-C control on the rollers.

    • Adam

      The app doesn’t complain that you’re running newer firmware on the Bolt than the app actually supports. I had a some weird inaccessible pages until i upgraded the app.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure that items A & C are actually problems:

      A) The Inside Rollers support FE-C, and FE-C simply stands for ‘Fitness Equipment Control”. You can see in my screenshot above it calls any FE-C trainer Fitness Equipment.
      C) That’d also make sense. You’d essentially be trying to have two masters here if I’m reading your post correctly, and two things can’t control one trainer. As a general rule of thumb if using two devices in a workout, only one should be paired as FE-C, and the other paired as a regular power meter.

  39. Mathijs

    Very cool! I received an email from Wahoo where they say you can get a free trail for TrainingPeaks en Trainingplan when registering your emailadres in the companion app. I have already registered my emailadres months ago and are currenlty already syncing to my free trainingpeaks account. Does anybody has a clue how to active this trail?
    From the Wahoo website:
    GET A FREE 30 DAY TRIAL AND 2 WEEK TRAINING PLAN FROM TRAININGPEAKS WHEN YOU PURCHASE A WAHOO GPS BIKE COMPUTER
    Register your Wahoo ELEMNT or ELEMNT GPS in the Companion App (iOS or Android) by entering your email address in order to receive your free 30 days and training plan from TrainingPeaks. You will receive an email shortly after registration with instructions on how to redeem your free 30 days and get access to your 2 week training plan.

  40. Jay

    Ray if you can confirm the following, im pretty sure im on the Wahoo by week end.
    When doing a structure ride using GC and Edge 520 i get these stupid msgs to say im not near target, or over target.. and i cannot find a way to remove that… are the wahoo units the same? I dont want a msg, at least the option to remove it as when im riding i know if im under a level and when balls against the wall dont want to be reminded im falling short…

  41. Erik

    Element it such a great device, especially when coming from V650 :-)

    My workouts from my free trainingpeaks account do not show up in the Champion App (Android). I have created one workout and dragged it to today.

    I have done a resync with my trainingpeaks account in the Campion App. Still no workouts.

    Any glue.

    Any thx Ray for always doing such good reviews and content …

    • Migel

      Try to re-link Training Peaks the workouts should show up then, but with a ugly raw filename instead of the name you gave the workout in TP.

    • MitchD

      Having same problem here – on iOS and have de linked and rekindled TP multiple times. Not getting any workouts and I have one built and structured for today.

  42. Bruno

    Great to see it! I’m a long time ELMENT user. But I’m still disappointed the way they (mis)calculate power when you upload files to Training Peaks and Today’s Plan.

    That’s what been preventing me from using it more often.

    Example: I used ELMNT and Edge 820 side by side on a recent 6 hours ride including a 20 minute “cafe” stop. Both units had same FTP settings and AUTO PAUSE was off.

    At the end of the ride both units were very similar:
    ELMNT: TSS 204.9, IF 0.58, NP 204 W, Work 3338 kJ, Average Power 153 W
    EDGE: TSS 202.3, IF 0.583, NP 204 W, Work 3296 kJ, Average Power 154 W

    However on the analysis software it was quite different:
    ELMNT
    Training peaks: TSS 181.9, IF 0.62, NP 216 W, Work 3739kJ, Average Power 153 W
    Today’s plan: TSS* 235, IF* 0.63, NP* 219 W, Work 4171 kJ, Average Power 194 W

    EDGE
    Training peaks: TSS 202.1, IF 0.58, NP 204 W, Work 3294 kJ, Average Power 154 W
    Today’s plan: TSS* 202, IF* 0.58, NP* 203, Work 3267 kJ, Average Power 151 W

    So while EDGE file is consistently treated by analysis software and numbers also match what I see on the head unit the ELMNT file although similar to EDGE on the head unit gets a very inconsistent treatment by the analysis software.

  43. Alan prescott

    Hi
    Purchased a ELEMNT struggling downloading GPX files try to try to download strata route it goes in my strata file I then transfer to my elemnt folder which it shows it is in the file but nothing is coming on to my wahoo elemnt.
    Thanks

    • Michal

      Strava routes are synced automatically with your unit. You don’t need to download any files and connect ELEMNT to computer by cable. Just connect your Strava account with your ELEMNT using companion app (if you didn’t yet).

  44. JF

    Great to see structured workout but I noticed this update also remove the option to select to what service it will automatically upload, now it upload to all my connected services by default.

    This is bad for me cause I don’t want to upload all my ride to Strava and ridewithgps but I do upload all my ride to Trainningpeaks. This is a step backward.

    • Wahoo Murray

      We actually never had this option although it is something we would like to add

    • JF

      The option was there until I updated to the last version. I just chat with Melissa from the helpdesk and she look at an iphone that was not updated yet to comfirm the option was there, after making some investigation , she said this was a known issue. ticket id 334383. Can you confirm?

    • Wahoo Murray

      JF, Sorry I’m not as connected to the bike team as I once was. Sounds like it got released accidentally (before it was finished) and then pulled. Once it is finished, it will get released again.

    • JF

      Oh great, thanks for double checking!

  45. Scott

    Only thing holding me back is Varia support!

  46. Brendan Lewis

    Anyone know if trainer road will be added?

  47. Tim

    Does anyone have the issue that when riding a “fresh” strava segment without any previous attempts (so no PR, yet) the Bolt does not compare against anything? (also no KOM comparison)

    • Wahoo Murray

      Correct, It doesn’t compare anything as it doesn’t have anything to compare to.

    • Tim

      Well, at least the KOM is always present. Is there any workaround?

    • Wahoo Murray

      Sorry I don’t understand. If its a brand new segment with no PR, KOM or anything (don’t even know if thats possible). You can still ride the segment, you will still get a time on the ELEMNT but there is no data to compare, so you will no see any compare data.

    • Tim

      Sorry for the confusion. I’m referring to a segment which is only new to me (I have no attempt, yet), but with a Leaderboard and a KOM also present.

      When I was approaching the segment with the Bolt, the segment showed up correctly, the Bolt changed to the Strava page correctly, but I had no comparison time and got no notification at the end the I was the new KOM (since I was faster). Also there was no “vs” at the middle button (just blank instead)

    • Wahoo Murray

      Sounds like the KOM data just didn’t sync. If you go to the Segment page outside a workout, and manually hit sync, you should see the segment in the list and it should show the KOM.

    • Tim

      Ok, thanks, I’ll try that out again

    • Make sure you go to your KOM page on the device and press sync. You have to do this weekly (?)

  48. Ray or anyone,

    Did you notice a severe lag in screen update when changing intervals? I did 30s on 30s off intervals and most of the time the countdown would stop somewhere around 3 seconds. The screen would freeze and then take 15ish seconds to update… which is halfway into the next interval. Very frustrating. Wondering if other people had this issue?

  49. JL-Philly

    I was able to get this to work yesterday via Training Peaks but no dice today. My guess is the sync gateways are not working well. On my iOS app I had to de-authorize TP and re-authorize it, and now I see it on my phone. But on the ELEMNT itself I do not see it, even if I keep telling it to sync. I had that issue very briefly yesterday but the workout eventually showed up.

    Perhaps this is down to initial release demand but I am not sure. The feature worked GREAT yesterday but I really just need the sync to work reliably (I’ve now spent as much time as my planned workout is scheduled trying to get the workout to sync to the ELEMNT).

  50. JL-Philly

    Minor bug – when on my ELEMNT I move from the planned workout page to another page, and come back to it, my bottom graphic is blank. This can be fixed by zooming in or out and it comes back.

  51. Kaue Pepe

    None of the bike shops here in Poland sell wahoo bike computer. =(

  52. Tim

    @ Wahoo Murray,
    Please checkout the article that Ray wrote about Xert real-time FTP calculation on Garmin via a free Connect IQ app: link to dcrainmaker.com

    If Wahoo could add a power data field that calculated real-time FTP in the same or similar way as Xert, you would have some seriously happy Elemnt/Bolt owners. Take the time to read the comments in the above article. People hate FTP tests, but need to understand their current level for updating their training plans.

    I’ve submitted this idea via email, but would like to put it out there through you as well.

    • JB

      dont believe the hype..the only test other than an FTP, is a one hour time trial, usually 40km… why would xert shy people away from the test? it makes zero sense to train to a number you didnt achieve… ive yet to come across a professional coach who would set your training plan to a FTP you have not achieved..

  53. Bsquared

    520 owner since Oct 2015, it just works. No real problems with the 520, always kept firmware updated and deleted all activities once a month. One ride this year the timestamp advanced 16 hours near the end of the ride, but Strava caught it and told me how to fix the .fit file. Added Stages power meter a year ago.

    Turn-by-turn has also worked well enough for me, starting Dec 2015 with club RWGPS routes. Never gotten lost. Even at 0% backlight and 50+ yr old eyes I can usually see the screen even with really dark sunglasses (10% light transmission), although a few sun angles will wash out the screen and I have to squint to see it. I like the GC workout creator better than TrainingPeaks (paid Premium account).

    I like where Wahoo is going with Elemnt, but not ready to sell my 520. Elemnt has better buttons, sharper screen but without color, and from the screenshots I like the idea of being able to see intervals in a graph. Things on 520 I like – apps (Xert!), Varia radar, color maps, GC workout creator, and street names on maps (OSM).

  54. Douglas Kubler

    I like the Elemnt for the display, live segments performance, and phone configuration but there are several problems –
    (1) I had no trouble setting up Live Segments at home but on vacation in a rental unit the Elemnt would not load new Live Segments; Wifi would not work for the task. Turns out shared networks may have “customer Isolation” (terminology?) which prevents the phone and Elemnt from communicating. The Elemnt loads live segments via wifi not Bluetooth. Oddly the Elemnt loads routes via Bluetooth.
    (2) The Elemnt (and Bolt) do not accumulate elevation gain in a timely manner. On rolling hills the Elemnt might say 2800′ of climbing and an Edge 3800′ of climbing. It seems to miss the many peaks. The GPS data computes to the true net change (3800′) but the FIT summary says 2800′. Strava uses the summary field.
    (3) On every pause the unit loses track of the elevation change since the last recorded change. So the summary field is too low again.
    — all issues have been sent to support — no promises of fixes

  55. tfk

    Might be worth pointing out the restrictions of the basic TrainingPeaks account which, for example, only allows scheduling of a workout for today.

    Anyway, my question is

    Half way through a workout I want to change resistance. How do I do that? I still want to maintain the specified ORIGINAL wattage I just found that my cadence was too low and I had run out of gears. I looked but could not find that option.

  56. Alen Babakhani

    Is there a way to put TrainerRoad workouts on there or plans to do so? I really don’t want to create the workout on TP if I can port it over from TR.

    • Ron

      Would also love to see this functionality or a comment on this. From the TrainerRoad’s FAQ:

      “Q: Is there a way for me to upload my outdoor rides to TrainerRoad such that I can track my TSS through my Career page?

      A: Not at this time, but it’s certainly one type of functionality we’re eager to bring to our users (and ourselves!) and it’s only a matter of time. And while we can’t say exactly when this feature will be implemented, we can say we’re as eager as you are to have this capability”

      Being able to export a workout and executing it on a BOLT seems like a great way to accomplish this. Although TR is great, I get a feeling they are resting on their laurels. In my many months of subscription, it feels like it has been stagnant in terms of new features (sure, new trainer support with each patch, but I am not buying a new smart trainer every few months).

  57. DuncanS

    I really hope that generic (non-TP) workout downloads will be supported soon – the free account Training Peaks workouts are near useless as you can only create today’s workout, can’t create/select from a library or even create future dated workouts. I get the impression the feature’s already been designed but just missed this release cycle, so I hope it will be in the next.

    Top of my wishlist however is to auto-upload activities to Dropbox so that they are ready to load into Golden Cheetah.

  58. Fevo

    Did a interval ride yesterday and it works great! Apart from 3sec power I like to show average lap power to ensure it is in line with the goal power.

    When a new interval is started a new lap is started, but it seems this is not the case when you fast forward to the next interval. The average lap power in such a case is calculated over the part before fast forward and upcoming interval.

    Does anybody else observe this?

  59. Deepak Rao

    Switched from the 520 to trhe Bolt. Now, looking at buying a direct drive trainer. Is it stupid to buy a Tacx Neo rather than the Kickr2? Any pro/con of each?

  60. Wonder how this compares to the edge 1030. A video was just leaked about it:
    link to youtube.com

  61. Willy

    Any word on when an option to upload a .fit file with a custom structured workout will be available? This is the main thing keeping me from upgrading from my 310XT (which has had structured workouts forever)

    Also any ideas on what apps to use to create them? As mentioned above, Garmin Connect would work, but you would have to already have a garmin device.

    I’ve also struggled to find an app for iPhone to execute basic structured workouts. There are many apps for timed intervals, but they lack the ability to mix sections with a set time with sections of variable time. For instance, if I want to do:
    -10 squats as fast as possible – tap phone to mark complete
    -10 lunges as fast as possible – tap phone to mark complete
    – rest 30 sec
    – repeat above 3 times
    And record the total time and time for each exercise, I have yet to find an app that does that (Freeletics Bodyweight probably comes the closest, but you can’t define custom routines). Any ideas?

    • Bsquared

      I’ve used Fitocracy for years to track weight lifting and body weight work. In Fito app you can create a superset of squats and lunges, with 3 sets for each. Save as custom workout. Fast forward to tomorrow and you can ‘play’ the workout and it will guide you step-by-step thru the routine. During the routine you can change weight or # reps on the fly – say you are feeling good and decide to do 11 squats on the first set, just swipe up on the 10 and it increases to 11 (swipe down to decrease). Click the checkmark to move on to the next exercise (10 lunges) in your routine.

  62. Tosin Akinmusuru

    Powerbeam Pro…can the Bolt control that? I only ask because Zwift can control the trainer, but technically, it’s not FE-C?

  63. kristian

    Can I upload a workout created on training peeks (or anywhere else) that will stay there despite being “past the date” i put it in the calendar?

    On my garmin i can create a type of workout: for example 4×4 intervals – that will always be there (like the provided SKY workouts).

    Is this possible on the wahoo elemnt bolt?

    • Michal

      “These new planned/structured workouts can come from four different sources today:
      (…)
      C) Import file (.FIT, .MRC, .ERG)
      (…)
      (Note: The ability to import .FIT/.MRC/.ERG files was delayed from today’s release…it should re-appear shortly in an update.)”

      So it’s not there yet, but soon it will be possible.

  64. Paulm

    I’m clearly being thick here, so bear with me. How are you supposed to set crank length for various power meters? I can’t see that anywhere in the app or on the unit. I run different crank lengths for track and want to change the length on that power meter.

  65. Brandon

    so can you use a planned workout, with your own PM (stages), and just use the kickr for resistance?

    You have this option in TR and Zwift i.e. to use your own power source and just the kickr for resistance.

  66. matt

    Ray,
    Can you download training peaks workouts to the garmin 520 to control your trainer like the bolt to does the workout have to be made inn the connect app

  67. matt

    ray,
    when I pair my hammer via the app it asks me for my wheel size? Should it do this? should it recognize it as a trainer?

    • Someone asked me about this on Twitter a few days ago, as they were having the same problem (it shouldn’t prompt at all). CycleOps support got involved, but I’m not sure where it went from there. :-/

  68. Guillermo

    Hey DCR,

    Thanks for another great info. I noticed the 4 sources to import the workout, but what about option C?

    A)
    B)
    C) Import file (.FIT, .MRC, .ERG)
    D)

    Did wahoo plan to launch it soon, or cancel this feature for future releases?

    • Wahoo Murray

      They are still coming. MRC/ERG are pretty much done and we have a developer finishing FIT, Can’t give you a date yet.

  69. BlakeW

    If I understand the FE-C standard correctly, it both allows the Bolt to control a trainer, and also allows the Bolt to get speed, cadence, and/or power from the trainer. Correct?

    Assuming this is correct, does anyone else have an issue setting wheel circumference for the FE-C sensor on the Bolt or in the companion app.

    I recently got a Drivo. It’s the first “wheel off” trainer I’ve ever had, and I can’t seem to get the Bolt to read a reasonable speed. There’s no way to set wheel circumference under the Drivo FE-C sensor. When I connect to the speed/cadence sensor through bluetooth on the Bolt, I can set wheel circumference, but no speed is shown. I can connect to both speed/cadence sensor and power sensor from the Drivo on my old Garmin 310XT with ant+, set the wheel circumference, and get readings that seem reasonable when compared to readings from Zwift on 0% slope, but the Bolt shows my speed as way too high.

    Wahoo support were responsive, and we exchanged a couple emails, the last one saying set the wheel circumference in the companion app, but after I replied the option wasn’t available, they’ve gone dark. Giving the benefit of the doubt it may just be because of the weekend. I just thought I’d see if anyone is having a similar issue.

    Thanks, BlakeW

    • Nick

      I too am having problems with direto trainer and elemnt bolt. I am trying to reride routes indoors with expectation that ELEMNT will use gps file to set resistance to trainer and give a reasonable speed but it’s only registering like 80 watts and giving a speed of 170 mph. Any updates on issues with direto from wahoo?

    • Rémy CLOUARD

      This comes to me as a big surprise that people with direct drive trainers would have the same issue as I do with my Elite Rampa. On the Rampa the wheel circumference is set at 62.83 in the Elite My e-training app. You’re right, the FAQ on the Wahoo website only specify that you can set the wheel circumference on a speed/cadence sensor, not a fitness equipment.

  70. rbennu

    Does the Planned Workout work simultaneously with Navigation?

  71. James

    After connecting a Tacx Flow Smart and completing a virtual ride, i have all the data (speed, cadence, power, elevation) but it does not show the virtual map. Is the virtual GPS data saved???

  72. Steven

    So, the import file function was delayed until…? Any news?
    Importing files is my only viable option to get my Xert workouts on the elemnt.