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Hammerhead Karoo 2: Hands-On Details & First Rides


Update: My full Hammerhead Karoo 2 In-Depth Review is now published! Check it out over here.

Long teased, and long awaited…it’s finally here – the Hammer Karoo 2. And by ‘here’, I mean here in this post – and you can order it. It won’t actually ship till October. But hey – what’s a month or two between friends?

The Karoo 2 would technically be Hammerhead’s third product, following the original Karoo and then prior to that the Hammerhead disco lightning rod navigation thingy (in 2013!). And while the jump from disco machine to original Karoo was massive in every way, the Karoo 1 to Karoo 2 is more evolutionary than revolutionary. It’s largely a hardware shift more than a software one. In fact, virtually every new feature on the Karoo 2 is coming to the Karoo 1. In fact, it’s pretty much already there. The handful of new Karoo 2 features that aren’t coming are ones tied to physical hardware limitations of the Karoo 1.

In effect, Hammerhead is taking the Wahoo & Apple approach that all their products stay on effectively the same software version (save hardware limited features), updating older products with new software features. It’s a strategy that has earned both companies much customer love over the years, and Hammerhead is hoping that same approach works here too.

Point being, don’t expect this post to be a big list of new features and functions – because honestly, those don’t exist. Instead, while we saw Hammerhead stop shipping Karoo 1 units back around December 2019, they’ve spent that time iterating/revamping the user interface and adding feature after feature to both the Karoo 1 and the Karoo 2. So now, the Karoo 2 is really just about new hardware…and a beeper.

To hear that beeper in all of its glory, as well as see how the unit works mid-ride and plenty more, whack that play button below:

Or, keep on scrolling for plenty more text and photos.

[Note: The photos you see in this post are of the real Karoo 2 that I’ve been using. However, it’s not the final Karoo 2. There’s numerous minor external physical appearance tweaks including display shell coloring, shell material finish, button finish, nacho cheese dispenser addition, and beeper beepiness that are still being finalized. However, the sizing, display quality, etc… is all final.]

The Hardware:


To sum up the size, the Karoo 2 is roughly in the same ballpark size as the Edge 1030. It’s a touch bit less tall (if stood on end), yet a bit plumper in depth. They’re nearly identical in width. They’re obviously vastly different in prices and features. But hey we’re talking size here, not money.

First up, some comparison shots. Here’s a lineup of popular bike computers people would most likely be comparing, and how it looks from the top:


(Left to right: Hammerhead Karoo 1 – $399, Hammerhead Karoo 2 – $399, Wahoo ROAM – $379, Garmin Edge 830 – $399, Stages Dash L50 – $299, Sigma ROX 12)

Next, from the side, placed on their mounts. In the case of the Karoo 2, it currently has the mount-adapter in it for this photo. That technically adds a sliver of height to it, whereas when you remove that adapter it transfers that height additive to the mount itself. So, it’s really a wash either way.


(Left to right: Hammerhead Karoo 1, Hammerhead Karoo 2, Wahoo ROAM, Garmin Edge 830, Stages Dash L50, Sigma ROX 12)

And then, another shot for fun this time with the Karoo 2 quarter-turn mount adapter (which adds a tiny bit of height)


Now, it’s obvious that unlike the original Karoo, the Karoo 2 no longer eats small children dipped in ranch dressing for breakfast. As such, it’s far more slender. However, more in my geekery mind is the fact that it uses USB-C for charging. Something that Garmin, Wahoo, and others lack. While some go ‘shrug’ at this, the practical side of a more sturdy port is that it charges faster. I can get to 30% charge in 30 minutes and 50% in an hour.


Next to the port you’ll see two screws, this allows you to swap out for colored shells (like with the original Karoo). Hammerhead hasn’t decided on which colors yet for the accessory shells, though, you will find them asking questions in a survey online. Thankfully, this group all chose the correct answers of ‘Red’ and ‘Black’. For the 19 people who selected neon yellow…oh, nevermind.


In any event, flip the Karoo 2 over and you’ll find yourself the SIM card cover. Twist it open and inside you can stash a SIM card, enabling your Karoo to provide revenue to your nearest wireless carrier. In return, you’ll be able to upload to Strava over cellular as well.

DSC_8386 DSC_8388

While in the Karoo 1 days that was a notable achievement, I’m less convinced it’s as meaningful a feature as I hoped these days. Also, back in the Karoo 1 days, you were never able to link it via Bluetooth with your mobile. That was a challenge because it meant you couldn’t get smartphone notifications (or sync) from your phone. Like politics, everyone has a different opinion on smartphone notifications mid-ride. But I suspect it’s more the vocal minority that doesn’t want them, I think most riders do want specific (mainly text) notifications to come in. And pre-Karoo 2, that was a gap.

With the Karoo 2 though, Hammerhead says their underlying hardware will support it. Specifically, they’ve added in dual Bluetooth chipsets to allow for one to communicate with both iOS and Android devices. However, as of this writing – that feature isn’t in there yet. Hammerhead says that it’ll be available by product launch. And while I definitely hope so, I would point out that a similar promise was made prior to the Karoo 1 launch. It never happened.

Still, I think Hammerhead has learned their lessons in that area this time.


Next, there’s the newly designed mount. While the Karoo 1 used a Garmin quarter-turn mount, the Karoo 2 goes it alone with this flying wedge mount. Hammerhead says this mount is much stronger than the Garmin tabs system, and that it only requires a 16° turn to snap in place, allowing it to fit much closer to the bars than a Garmin mount would.

DSC_8400 DSC_8398

Hammerhead also says it reduces the total system weight (computer + stock mount) to significantly less.


However, fear not 3rd party mount lovers – Hammerhead is also including a Garmin mount adapter in the box [Update: This is apparently TBD, they’re still deciding whether or not to include it, obviously- I think they should]. This nifty shim slides in place, and then instantly makes it compatible with the near-universal adoption of the Garmin quarter-turn mount in 3rd party mount designs.

DSC_8401 DSC_8402

While still a 3D printed prototype shim, I used it on a few rides without issue in conjunction with a K-Edge out-front mount.

I understand Hammerhead’s concerns about using Garmin’s mount, primarily from a legal standpoint – so I kinda get their move there (even if I’ll likely never use the native mount). However, more importantly, I really appreciate the inclusion of the adapter in the box. There’s just too many 3rd party bike mounts I love and use (with things like GoPro mounts on them), and have available on numerous bikes that aren’t now in a Karoo variant. So it’s awesome I don’t have to think much to make it fit all my bikes.


Next, there’s the beeper. Quite honestly the most important piece of the Karoo 2. This was a big deal with the Karoo 1 because for a navigation device, you might never know you missed the turn unless you were specifically looking at it when it gave a notification. Now that’s solved – it beeps.

Albeit, the beeper is a little bit shy in the prototype unit I had. Apparently the conversation went something like this:

Hammerhead HQ: Hi manufacturing facility on other side of world, I’d like to have a beeper included, can we do that?
Manufacturing facility: No problem, we’ve got a great price on some beepers sitting in a warehouse, sound good?
Hammerhead HQ: Perfect – we’ll take them all, that’s exactly what we wanted to hear!
Manufacturing facility: Great, sounds good. We’ll get to work
[Months later, after unpacking prototypes]
Hammerhead HQ Person 1: Huh…I can’t hear anything.
[Hands to person 2 in a socially distance manner]
Hammerhead HQ Person 2: Oh, I hear it no problem. All good!
[Attempts to send to DCR, shorts DHL delivery services stock, a lot of pardoning our French, three weeks later…]
DC Rainmaker Starts Ride: What the eff is that hearing test beep sound coming from on my bike?!?

Turns out, due to a minor prototype manufacturing error, the beeper was placed against the plastic too close – which resulted in the beep basically sounding *IDENTICAL* to a hearing test beep. Or one of those call center beeps that reminds you your call is being recorded. That short high pitched sound? That one.

Fear not peoples, that’s not the final pitch, sound, position, or anything else. I point this out not to make fun of Hammerhead (though, it is hilarious), but because people will be asking me to hear the beep. And quite literally some of you won’t be able to hear it, depending on your hearing level.

And no, I can neither confirm nor deny anything that may or may not have happened in, at, or to, a DHL facility in an unnamed French village three weeks ago.


Finally, there’s numerous internal guts changes around performance that Hammerhead has made. They say these internal changes are largely what will be the dividing line in the future between features being available on the Karoo 1 or not. Here’s a quick laundry list:

– Added a beeper (you can still pair Bluetooth headphones/speakers)
– Reduced size dimensions (in mm, now 60.8w x 19.3h x 100.6L vs 73w x 28h x 99L)
– Reduced unit weight from 186g to 122g
– Reduced mount weight from 55g to 33g
– Storage in the Karoo 2 is 32GB instead of 16GB
– Screen is covered in DragonTrail glass, which is sorta like Gorilla Glass – treated to reduced glare
– USB-C port waterproof spec IP67
– Added 4G coverage (2G/3G/4G, with your own SIM)
– Added dual Bluetooth Smart chipsets
– Added quad-core processor

Phew, got all that? Good. Again, main thing – it’s got a beeper (you can hear it in the video), and it’s no longer doing Twinkie shots in between rides.

The Software:


So, this part of the piece is kinda tricky. Namely because if you’ve got a Karoo 1, then you’ve got all the same features as the Karoo 2 sitting in front of me. It’s identical.

Hammerhead essentially traded a big PR splash with new features, for keeping their users happy during 2020. So we saw update after update this year and late last year, including Varia radar support, structured workout support, smart trainer support, revamped pairing menu, new graphical charts mid-ride, and on and on. Their release notes are full of these features. Some big, some minor, some just behind the scenes things.

Thus, I don’t have my typical bullet point list of ‘What’s Different from Karoo 1’, because there is no differences on the software front.  However, there are some things that are new that aren’t yet here. Specifically, the following features are not on the unit I have yet:

– Smartphone notification (specifically, Hammerhead calls them “category leading phone notifications”)
– Setup tool via website to pre-configure Karoo so that when it arrives in mail, you just connect to WiFi and it’s ready to go
– Various changes to sensor management
– Various changes to in-ride screens

And of course, it’s mainly that first one that’s the biggie for most people.

Till then, here’s a quick look around the user interface, for folks that aren’t as familiar with the recent Hammerhead Karoo updates. This is the main dashboard, it’s here that you’ll launch your ride from. The big rectangles are your different ride profiles. These are where you customize things like data pages and data fields:

DSC_8413 DSC_8410 DSC_8412

In the lower menu you’ve also got settings, where there’s piles of things to tweak such as how turn by turn navigation occurs or display brightness or elevation calibration. Again, all of this is the same as on the Karoo 1 at this point.

DSC_8416 DSC_8414 DSC_8415

Sensor management was recently updated a few weeks ago, and now looks a ton better. You can pair individually ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart sensors, and the entire data layer is super detailed:


There’s also structured workouts via TrainingPeaks and syncing there. In fact, that’s the easiest way for me to show off the beeping sound:


Going back again to the main menu there’s routes. This is where you’ll open up routes and then choose to navigate them. Right now there isn’t any added detail once you tap on the route. For example you can’t see the elevation profile or much else. The loading of the map tiles is pretty slow here at this beta stage, often taking 20+ seconds to render the first time. But once loaded it’s instant like a phone.

DSC_8419 DSC_8420

Once you’ve selected the route it’ll crack open your default profile, allowing you to then start riding. At this point it’ll navigate and give you turn by turn prompts with the pretty as always map layer as well (you can of course hide that away too). Here’s some various navigation shots from recent rides. Starting first with the banner that pops up when you’re approaching a turn:


It’ll count-down as you near the turn, and then disappear or change as required.


My favorite part here was when it switched to ‘Unknown Instruction’, as I boarded the small boat platform that I’d have to hand-crank across the canal:


Re-routing mid-flight works as well. You can see this here where my planned path is off to the right in reddish color, and the newly instantiated path is in blue ahead of me, even giving me the red turn by turn instructions for this new path. Though, the line is a bit hard to see being blue (the same color as the endless canals here). It also sounds like Hammerhead is already looking at some options there too.


Note you don’t have to be on the map screen to get turn by turn prompts, they’ll show up on any screen.

In general I never had any major issues with routing (using routes from Strava), rather, most of the issues I had were minor things where the turn instructions wouldn’t match reality. The map was correct, but sometimes it’d tell me to turn left onto a path that was already going straight. I say these were minor because in most cases there simply wasn’t an option to do what it said, and in the remaining few, the map/course line made it clear what to actually do. Still, Hammerhead says they’re taking a look at this – but suspect most of these issues are related to slight alignment problems between Strava and Hammerheads map and routing data sets.

Strava Live Segments works just the same as when it was rolled out this past spring. As you approach a segment it’ll show up as upcoming:


For example here you can see the KOM ahead of me on the map/line (with the orange segment highlight), as well as my PR behind me:


You’ll then see your progress in that segment against various rivals and PR’s, such as below. You can see I’m 17 seconds ahead of my PR, but 14 seconds behind the KOM. In this case below I’ve changed the data page to a large graph one, but the orange banner is across any page:



Once you finish you’ll get any notifications if you manage to grab anything, in my case I got a PR as well as the Wolf, which means I kept at bay the next person behind me on the leaderboard that I’m following:


Though, it doesn’t say who that person is, which is too bad. In this case it appears to be Des and Von, but I had to look that up later on after the fact. How cool would it be though if it showed their Strava profile pic instead of the Wolf? That’d be effin awesome. And Hammerhead has the display to be able to pull that off. Whether or not Strava has the API is a different question.


Finally, once the ride is done I can give it a descriptive name (which even carries through to Strava and TrainingPeaks) as well as see some summary stats by category (such as power and cadence). However, you can’t see a map view – which is a bit of a bummer. Nor can you see any of the Strava Segment information for favorited segments, which would seem to play really well to this display.


If you’re looking for a bit deeper dive, in the video up above I go through even more details of the user interface, especially while riding.

Going Forward:


Now as I said earlier, this isn’t a review. The unit isn’t final yet, and won’t start shipping till October. Once I get final hardware and final software, I’ll start the review process. Still, I think they’ve made some good gains here. Obviously, the beeper was/is clutch, as is the much smaller form factor. Without those, it’d be tough to recommend. The screen remains a huge selling point, along with the speed of the mapping.

Of course – there aren’t yet standout new features here, beyond the planned phone integration by launch (and the pre-setup options via website). I do think that might pose a challenge for Hammerhead. On one hand, Hammerhead is constantly adding new features to both Karoo 1 and Karoo 2, things like Strava Live Segments, TrainingPeaks Workout Integration, Varia Radar Integration, and so on. But the challenge here being that all of those are features that their competitors have had for years. So it becomes more of ‘catch-up’ than ‘step ahead’. And consumers by and large aim for stepping ahead. I’m hoping we’ll see Hammerhead throw down some new features that make people pause and go ‘Oh damn, that’s cool – I want that!’.

Though, for many the screen brilliance and responsiveness in mapping is that feature. And Karoo is second to none there.

Still, I’m excited for the possibility of the hardware. Heck, if nothing else, my life is infinitely easier because I can screen record the screen in real-time using normal Android apps (as you saw in the video). That’s super cool for me, but also practical for other use cases like race footage. That alone is a major benefit for me that admittedly doesn’t probably mean much to most people. Similarly, while the platform is built atop Android, we haven’t really seen much come from that in the Karoo 1 timeframe. Maybe that’ll change in the Karoo 2 timeframe given some of the architectural changes they made under the hood.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Hammerhead will be giving Karoo 1 users a $120 credit towards the Karoo 2, once you send back in your Karoo 1. Thus bringing the price down from $399 to $279 – which is incredibly appealing. We’ve never seen Garmin, Wahoo, or really anyone else do that in the bike computer world – so that’s super cool. And again, Hammerhead will continue releasing features/updates for the Karoo 1, as long as those features are supported on the Karoo 1 hardware (same model as Wahoo/Apple to date). Of course, one will have to stay tuned to see what those features are.

With that, thanks for reading! 

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  1. Gennaro

    The momnent I got an email from Karoo I came here sure to find a post ;-) – I guess I’ll stick with my Garmin Edge 1030 for the moment, but I might as well pre order and decide later!

  2. dr_lha

    Small typo: “and 50% in 50 in an hour.”

    Seems like a decent choice, once it’s verified that the beeper can actually be heard on a ride.

  3. chup

    Can you scroll the map to Asian countries and see if those Asian characters are displayed properly? Like CJK support…

  4. Good thing the children are safe now!

    Does it do Di2? ;-)

  5. mpm

    What about battery. I’ve seen that they are advertising that it is “largest of any on the market” but they don’t say anywhere how large it is. And how long it will last. Any experience in this matter?

    And I’m just wondering if it will be in any way replaceable. That would be something.

    • Brandon

      I believe the HH website says 10 hours at the moment. Expected increase with future updates.

    • Tom

      You can find more product details at the bottom of the page: link to hammerhead.io

      2500 mAh high capacity battery
      The highest capacity battery available in a cycling computer.

      12 hours of ride time
      Twelve hours ride time in full use (connected to sensors and using turn by turn navigation). Our constant software updates will continue to improve battery efficiency and we will reach 15+ hours of battery-life on a single charge in future updates.

    • John

      Talk about doing less with more.

  6. Patrick Utrecht

    Looking forward for the nacho cheese dispenser, missed that one on the video ;)
    Small typo in the last paragraph “which incredibly appealing” is missing an ‘is’.

    I pre-ordered one before the video. I’m a bit on the fence with the beeper still not ready, but I’m very happy with the karoo 1 otherwise, so the improvements (size and weight) seems good to me, but I’ll be wanting sound this time around (from the device itself)

    Though cool, I think I’ll prefer passing off the old 1 to someone else over a discount, 120$ seems a bit light… But I’ll give it to them, having the option to do so (or not) is great. I wish more companies would consider this.

    As always, nice to read and watch your view on it.

  7. Rob

    As wahoo continue to throw gasoline onto their current software dumpster fire, this unit becomes pretty appealing to me if they can manage to release firmware/software that doesn’t introduce old bugs and can properly calculate kJ while using assioma pedals. Have Karoo been successful at releasing updates which don’t break previously working features? I’m ok with being a few months behind on software features as long as they work as stated.

    • Jeff

      What I’ve noticed from my Karoo 1, is that after starting out as a complete hot mess, they rapidly were spitting out releases with a few fixes each in them. Relatively few big bang releases and a focus on fixing the most annoying bugs before adding new large features. For me it finally became usable as a daily driver about this time last year. Many times I’ll run both my Edge 1030 (for the beeper primarily) and the Karoo for the better screen/navigation and strangely, better Garmin Varia integration than Garmin has. I’m still on the fence on ditching Garmin totally, but I’m close, and Karoo firmware is _finally_ at that point.

      Crazily enough, I don’t recall anything breaking until the recent mid-July release with ride’s not syncing automatically that was fixed 2 weeks later. By keeping a consistent platform and fixing things quickly and not with big monolithic releases, I think they’ve done a much better job than the poor software team for my Garmin 1030 which keeps breaking “basic” sensor stability stuff that was first fixed 3 years ago eveyrytime they adda new feature onto an apparently overloaded CPU. I’m hoping there will finally be a stable 1030 release before it EoL’s… :) In true misery loves company fashion, I’m somehow reassured after hearing complaints from the “Wahooligans” about the same problems.

  8. DrPeperino

    maybe just a side comment but regarding the 120 bucks discount if you give back the K1 for the K2: at least in Italy, we saw Garmin offering quite significant discounts if you were to return any old bike computer of your choice to buy a Garmin one (typically happened when they were ready to launch a new series and were probably trying to sell out the old ones on the last days before the launch).

  9. Andre

    Thanks for the preview! Again, it is more in-depth than “normal media” full in-depth reviews :-)

    Assuming it has a SIM card installed (and eventually BT headphones connected), can you use it as a standalone phone, or at least can I use some sort of texting message app? Scenario is to be able to ride without a phone, and still be able to communicate with others…

    • Patrick Utrecht

      On paper you can, this was hinted at with edition 1 as well. Since it’s built on android pretty much anything can be made. But as we know, at this point nothing has been made for it nor has there been any info for it (wether or not 3rd party or they themselves will release “apps”)

      Not that I’m for texting while on the bike, once stopped it would be nice to be able to. Or with connected headphones (BT), maybe make a phonecall (yeah I know, I’m old school)

    • Roland

      Yes you can – Telegram works both text and voice. Whatsapp works too but can only be online on 1 phone at the time.

  10. Brandon

    This is awesome and exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks for the update and looking forward to the in-depth review. Pre-ordered mine – October needs to hurry up!
    I am hoping they’ll improve the battery life from the expected 10 hours, 14 sounds much better – although that quick USB-C charge is ideal.

  11. FrankJ

    It looks as though this one is already much more mature than the Bryton 860 which I have review recently. Three questions from my side: 1. battery life? 2. max number of data fields on map screen? 3. can TBT be turned off?

    • Patrick Utrecht

      Can’t answer 1 for you, 2 is plenty, but I don’t have the device near… I think it’s 12 but maybe more. I mainly use it at the map setting since that’s so gorgeous.

      As for 3 you have 3 options: always on, on before turn (default) or completely off. This is the way it’s at for the 1 at the moment, and probably is the same for the 2.

  12. John

    “My favorite part here was when it switched to ‘Unknown Instruction’, as I boarded the small boat platform that I’d have to hand-crank across the canal:”

    Would love to see a video of this boat platform in action!

    • Patrick Utrecht

      It’s an unmanned ferry, we have several of those in the Netherlands, usually over smaller streams with little to no boat activity, only for pedestrians and cyclists.

      It’s nice since it’s always available, where the manned ferries tend to shut down after 6pm or 10pm (depending on demand) and sometimes they have days off.

      A little movie of another example with some “Dutch” music added is here link to youtube.com

  13. Matthew


    Is there some reason that no company has implemented the ability to tie profiles to specific sensors? Something like:
    * If connected to sensor “PM road”, default to road profile
    * If connected to sensor “PM gravel”, default to gravel profile

    Maybe I’m in the minority, but I have crank based power meters on all of my bikes, so it would be trivial to assign those sensors to only specific profiles. And the bike computer should be able to see this fixed sensor and correctly know which profile it should default to using, but allow me to change.

    • GLT

      This scheme is frequently proposed in the discussion threads in Ray’s Garmin reviews as well.

      Best guess is that it is slightly more prone support calls and lost data than never ignoring a sensor & forcing the user to select. Most scenarios where a sensor conflict or failure can be imagined a proposed software change can be suggested. Explaining those cascading decisions in the user documentation could be a pain. There will be users that want one nuance compared to another.

      The least error prone automatic switch that comes to mind is having the computer mount embedded with an NFC id tag. Of course that assumes users don’t move mounts around, or they remember it matters.

    • Matthew

      Interesting thought on the support side. But this feels to me like not something only “advanced” users would use – you would need certain sensors that don’t move between bikes – so that should reduce the potential additional support cases tied to this.

      More generally, it feels like bike computers haven’t materially changed from the end user ease of use perspective. The talked about web configuration utility feels like it will move the ball for ease of use, as it would allow the end user to trial screen layouts easily. The next level would be to allow users to share screen layouts.

  14. Zach

    I’ve had all the Edge models. They still suck for mountain bike navigation, even the latest models…I could go into the technicalities but that’d be a long post. Mainly it sucks that you can’t do a manual re-route DURING a route. I’d assume Karoo does this? Garmin Trailforks routing is also shoddy as the system doesn’t know to route you the correct way if a user didn’t ‘snap’ the trails together correctly (they are user-submitted trails).
    I do like that Garmin comes with Trailforks maps, but you then have to disable OSM, or it’ll be a big jumbled mess of duplicate text…but then you can’t see the OSM maps that Trailforks may be missing.
    I’m looking to Karoo for side-loading Trailforks and MTBProject, as the maps I need seem to be split across them. Is this easy to do?
    Otherwise, I think OSM (OpenStreetMaps) is every bit as complete now for off-road cycling maps in my area, but the Edge just blends the cycling trails in with horse, hiking, etc, all of them as faint thin lines.
    Does the Karoo allow for trails tagged with Cycling or IMBA to stand out from the rest of the hiking, horse, streets, etc? This would potentially make the OSM maps every bit as good as 3rd party MTB maps on their own.
    And if Varia radar works, that’s the only (other) thing that kept me from moving to Karoo.
    All that being said, I’m a bit reluctant here without an early adopter discount of any kind, as well as Hammerhead’s track record of hardware revisions after the first batches had issues.

    • Meredith

      You could always build your own custom maps that highlight the cycling trails differently. OpenMTBmap could well work for you as well – just download and put on your edge unit. Disable the Garmin maps and enable the map you just put on.

    • Zach

      Good point. I had been making my own maps for years, after buying expensive software and it got to be too much work. The trails around me were constantly changing and growing. I have not tried openMTBmap because I have no idea what the USA trails near me look like on that system. I’ve always been curious tho. It seems like it takes OSM data and optimizes the look of the bicycle tagged trails. If that’s the case I’m interested but have not wanted to pay the price without being sure.
      This is what I wish the Garmin devices would do automatically, and I’m wondering if Karoo does it.
      I might just pay the $ for openmtbmaps… at least then I could probably update OSM myself and have them baked into the maps within a few months.

  15. JD

    1. Is it normal for a GPS device to include two bluetooth chips to accommodate iOS and Android phones separately?

    2. I sure hope the beeper sound is adjustable (volume AND pitch) or they missed an opportunity to “step ahead”.

    • Onno

      I think what’s meant is that they now use a bluetooth chipset that supports phone and sensor connections simultaneously, not that it has a separate chip for phones. (and definitely not separate chips for iOS and Android)

    • No, literally, there’s two chipsets in there. It’s not normal, but neither is using an Android phone to connect to iOS devices.

  16. Pete

    Would a Google Fi data-only sim work? The Fi documentation says for devices “running 7 and up”, but I think I saw elsewhere that Karoo is built on Marshmallow (6).

  17. Justin

    Any idea if this one is compatible with both CDMA and GSM networks? The original Karoo had a very narrow list of cell providers whose SIM card you could work with here in the US.

    • The sheet I have says just GSM.

    • Dang it! I’m still going to upgrade, but I was really hoping to be able to put in a SIM card. But in the US, only AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM so it’s pretty narrow unless I want to buy a whole plan for the Karoo 2 (which I don’t).

      But it sounds like the Karoo 2 is now supporting tethering to a phone which I suppose means that the SIM connection is significantly less relevant now.

    • FrankJ

      Therefor, the whole SIM slot is a solution for a non-existing problem.

    • usr

      Translation: does it allow configuring actual tooth counts for rings and casette (basically: giving “names” to individual sprockets). Theoretically it could even try some fancy self-calibration by guessing gearing setup from how the the Di2-Information (gear numbers without teeth count) correlates to the ratio between cadence and speed.

  18. Steve

    Major let down for me. All the hype a few months ago was pointing towards a ‘game changing cycling computer’ but in actuall fact its pretty bog standard by the looks of it and actually lacks features already found in the Garmins and Wahoo computers. Meh..

    Its got a beep…big deal.

    • Justin

      I, too, don’t care about the beep. I’m curious what features you were hoping for (or that are in Garmin/Wahoo) that aren’t there. I have been in the Karoo ecosystem since the 1 came out, so maybe I should know what I’m missing! Thanks :)

  19. Vassilis

    Will the overall decrease in size and weight is welcome (could be done by smaller birders around screen), what on earth made them put a smaller screen, loosing their strongest selling point on Garmin devices!
    Was my strongest interest on Karoo 1, just lost any interest on future Karoo 2 release.

  20. David W

    Hey Ray- you praise the bright screen. How does it compare to the Stages Dash? The Dash is currently the brightest that I’ve seen. Thanks.

  21. Mark

    Wow, pre orders now shipping in Dec already.

    Ray, I am a TR user as are you, does the Karoo 2 allow the latest outdoor workout features like the latest Garmin versions do, the 1030 for example works better than the 1000 does which I currently own?

    • I don’t believe TR Outside Workouts are lit up quite yet (I don’t have the option on mine yet), though it sounds like a lot of the piping is almost there.

    • Jim A

      Support for TR workouts will be the feature that triggers me to click “Buy.” I have a K1 and am extremely impressed and pleased by its performance. With K2 pre-orders already booked out until December, I’m good for now with my K1 to get me through Fall. But by next spring when I’m riding outside again regularly, TR workouts with a beeper would be the ticket.

    • Kevin

      I would love to pre-order but no outdoor TR workouts is a dealbreaker for me when that’s the majority of my training. If/when they implement that feature then I’m onboard.

  22. Bjornc

    In your video, you state it supports Galileo.. but on the website only GPS and Glonass are listed. Which is correct?
    And; Does the Karoo 2 have an onboard Barometer?

    • Probably mine. I’m looking at a detailed tech spec sheet, and it was also something they mentioned during a conference call.

      But, if I’m wrong – it’s only cause they were wrong twice. ;)

      Yes, it has an onboard altimeter.

    • Bjornc

      link to hammerhead.io

      Under the Connectivity tab; no Galileo.
      Not really a dealbreaker to me, but I’d rather have seen Galileo instead of the simcard tray.

      Won’t pre-order for now, but I’m keeping a sharp eye on the upcoming reviews.

    • Yeah, all my sheets have it as yes – both the tech spec sheets I got, as well as a bunch of pre-release reviewer notes on how the antennas for Galileo aren’t fully optimized yet, so things might be slightly non-perfect still given the beta nature.

    • Jeffrey F.

      How about QZSS support? Baidu? Thanks!

  23. dan

    I’ve had a supposedly “open” wahoo ticket fon y Element or over two years now and after literally a half dozen or more “updates” I’m still waiting on a fix. They verified what I see with their log files and all they have ever committed to after this two + year wait is….We will give you a tiny discount towards a new unit but it will more than likely do the same thing.

    I have constant continuous dropouts on my display. the — symbol instead of data.

    my whole complete ecosystem is wahoo from sensors to kickr to fan to desk. yet because they cannot fix this nagging floating — stuff which happens every single ride indoor and out…I think I want to switch head units. I left garmin for the greener pastures of wahoo, now I need an out. Karoo rhymes with wahoo maybe this will be it.

    • dr_lha

      Sensor dropouts with Wahoo ELEMNT have always been an issue. TICKR dropouts recently were a real problem. Almost ever ride it seems like the ANT+ crashes on my ELEMNT, meaning I loose Varia radar and everything else ANT+ for about 90s. Seems like no fix for this has ever been incoming. Right now the syncing between ELEMNT and iPhone are a total basketcase. Wahoo have been releasing firmware updates weekly and sometimes daily over the summer, and the issues never seem to be fixed. Latest fix apparently broke Di2 support.

    • Jeff

      My Garmin Edge 1030 has that trouble a lot as well. New version and it’s fixed, then 2 versions later and borked again. Almost like the radios reboot, and 3 seconds later pick back up again. Karoo 1 seems better on that score (at least recently), but I’m knee deep in Garmin’s overall ecosphere still. Hard to escape, but nice to have backup computer if one or the other is having issues.

    • dan

      Yea I don’t know tech but I know some common sense. I have 4 complete sensored bikes in relatively close proximity to my trainer. From 2ft to 10ft away. Wahoo initially blamed my “sensor rich” environment. Really? sensor rich? First those bikes are not moving so all the sensors are or should all be dormant. Secondly, I don’t feel Ray as he is testing items doesn’t have a more rich sensor environment then I could ever have, and third, so what you’re telling me wahoo is I could NEVER use my element at any sort of event because can you imagine how many active sensors are in a pack of cyclists? Geez, talk about feeding me a line of bullshit. Bullshit instantly negated when I said…yea but this is happening OUTSIDE also.

      Yet it doesn’t seem to be a widespread problem. I cannot find any outcry on it at all, yet that is 1 thing I can say about my Garmin at least. It never dropped data. Once it picked up a sensor it stayed picked up.

      Most of my Wahoo stuff just works, no complaints but my the thing I use the most, the one item I see in action all the time and am constantly looking at, is the one thing that is pushing me away. I just can’t take like you said 90 seconds or more at a time no HR or no cadence or no power or no something…..every single ride.

    • dr_lha

      If you hang out in the Wahoo support group on Facebook there’s plenty of outcry about all these issues. Did a short 20 mile ride tonight, and my sensors dropped out twice on it, like, no sensors for 2 minutes each drop out. This has been a common occurrence for a while. This is on an original ELEMNT I’ve owned over 4 years.

    • Dwayne

      A friend of mine did a factory reset of his Bolt about 3-4 weeks ago, and hasn’t had a 60-90s dropout since. I get the 60-90s dropouts on my Elemnt, too. I’ve been meaning to jot down my data field configuration (why can’t this be saved in the app as a backup?) and do the same.

      I put in my pre-order for the Karoo 2 yesterday.

  24. TomS

    The Karoo 2 Pre-Order page now states that pre-orders placed at this point will arrive in December.

    “We’ve had an overwhelming response and sold through our first pre-orders in just hours. Pre-orders placed now are projected to arrive in early December.”

    • Tom

      Maybe not bad to be in the second wave. Gives a whole month of first wave buyers to test and “review” so you got some more time and info to make your buying decision.

  25. Ashley

    Couldn’t have come at a better time as my 820’s battery is dying. Went to pre-order but see that Karoo don’t deliver to New Zealand. Hoping they expand their shipping destinations soon.

  26. Ray, there seems to be quite a bit of a todo on the Facebook group about the Garmin mount adapter. Your piece says it’s included, the Hammerhead website text says it isn’t but their video at least implies that it is. Any chance you can reach out to them for a definitive answer and if currently it’s not to be included suggest in the strongest possible terms that it should be?! Thanks.

    • Yup, just reached out for the double-confirmation, will post when they confirm back.

    • Ok, got confirmation back – it’s still being finalized.

      I was under the impression from previous conversations it was being included in all boxes. But at present, it’s still being decided. Given this looks like a very cheap piece of plastic to make, I’d prefer to see them include it. I’d also love to see them publish the specs of their mount to allow others to build mount solutions atop it (such as with GoPro adapters and such).

    • Thanks again Ray. I’ll post that in the FB group.

    • Justin

      I already reached out to K-Edge to beg that they make a Trek Madone integrated mount with the Karoo connection. Probably a hard sell to make given Karoo’s market share. But I can hope.

    • Brandon

      I had reached out to HH about this earlier today, here is the thread:

      link to support.hammerhead.io

      According to the HH rep, the Garmin adapter is not included but will be available for sale at or near launch. Hopefully HH will change their minds, would be nice to have this included as I’ll already have to buying a new mount.

    • Apparently they have confirmed to someone on the FB that it will not be included. That’s a pretty dumb decision IMHO – any chance you can apply some pressure to get them to change that, if indeed it’s true? Thanks!

    • I’m talking directly to the person making the decision. It’s not decided yet, despite what support is saying.

    • JD

      As a small company with a vision I understand why they would prefer to sell the adapter as an accessory especially when they are pushing their new mount as superior to the current standard.
      However, just remind them they already had beeper-gate. No point in adding adapter-gate. :)
      The other option is to use it as an incentive. Example, first 500 orders receive a free Garmin mount adapter. Or check here to receive a free Garmin Mount Adapter ($14.95 value).

    • Thanks Ray, that’s good to hear.

    • Sab

      It seems on Karoo’s FB page, someone from Hammerhead has confirmed that it is not included in the box however, it will be shipped with Pre-ordered Karoo 2’s. Hoping this is going to be correct as I am about to pre-order now after seeing latest vid on Youtube about the beeping noise.

    • Sab

      More confirmation on the inclusion of Garmin mounts for pre-orders as a thank you gift by HH.

    • Nice, I think that’s a good blend for now!

  27. Andi

    Great review DC!
    Funny that I already spoted the pre-order option this morning before 07.00 CET… Should get it late October, but can’t wait untill the K2 arrives!
    Quick one on the connectivity: Can you pair an Apple Watch with one of the BT sensors to get the heart beat transferred into the K2?
    Many thanks for checking it out…
    All the best from Munich…

    • Thanks!

      No, mostly because Apple doesn’t support/have any Bluetooth HR broadcasting bits by itself, instead, it would be reliant on an app. That said, there are some 3rd party apps that do that, but I haven’t tried it myself.

      In a semi-ideal world, when Hammerhead releases its iOS app to allow connectivity/smartphone notifications/whatever, they’d also release an Apple Watch app to pipe in that HR data (like Zwift does with the Zwift Companion app). But, there may not be enough cross-over users to justify that.

    • Andi

      Thanks for your quick reply!

      Yes, I’ve seen this in the HH-forum. Its called something like Testflight/HeartByProxy… but it seems that it is not working in a fully reliable way…

      Then let’s keep the fingers crossed that we will see a miracle in late October… I will just drop the HH team an e-mail asking whether this is on their radar – even if I think they have more a lot of other things to manage these days…
      Actually it is cool that this “underdog” listens to us, the users… Hope that once they have reached the state of the art on implementation of the well known apps they will use this amazing bit of hardware to surprise us with some innovations, whatever it may be…

      All the best and stay safe!

    • Petro

      I got hearbeatz adapter from North Pole and it works like a charm with my Garmin 1030

  28. JD

    Thickness or Depth? :)

  29. Leo M

    The Karoo 1 does…so I don’t see why the 2 wouldn’t.

  30. RTSM

    Hello DC, do you know if the Karoo 2 can show SRAM gearing and Bontrager light control like Garmin? Thanks for your great reviews! RTSM from California.

    • SRAM gearing yes (I have eTAP), but not ANT+ Light Controls.

    • RTSM

      Thank you. I had a Fabric Lumaray light running under my Garmin 1030 which with the extra weight snapped the mount lock ring and my 1030 fell of the bike at 25mph and tumbled across the tarmac. Needless to say I need a new computer so I will keep the Karoo 2 on my list. Thanks again for the great info. With there goal of frequent updates maybe a future function. Than you for your insights.

  31. Oleg Golovliov

    Was looking to buy Garmin 1040 plus, but now will preorder k2.
    One thing is bad for -they do not include gamin adapter in the box, as I have aero-mount on my Canyon Aeroad.

  32. Jop

    The strava live segments page that was linked indicates the maximum number of segments you can sync to the Karoo is 6! Any indication if they plan to increase that limit? (Or already have and the strava page is out of date?)

    • Dwayne

      There’s conflicting information on that page. In the bullet points, it says “You can sync up to 100 starred segments and view 100 nearby segments.” At the very end of the FAQs, it says “What if some of my segments are not synced to my Karoo? The maximum number of segments that can be synced to a Karoo device is six segments.” I assumed the six segments was maximum simultaneous segments, like if you have a bunch of segments that all overlap a stretch, you can flip between at most six on that stretch. I can’t imagine only being able to sync six segments in total, that would be useless.

    • Yeah, I’ve got way more than 6 segments on mine.

      I agree, I suspect 6 is the simultaneous number of live segments shown on the device while pedaling. I mean.

  33. For me the biggest reason would be the android OS. Would it allow building custom apps?

    • Yup, you can sideload apps as you wish. I did that to capture the screens here (using AZ Screen Recorder). Some people have even put the Zwift companion app on it.

    • adam

      Is it going to allow google play services though as the lack of it on the 1 bricks a lot of useful applications.

    • jmjf

      Sideload TrainerRoad until HH gets TR workout integration? (Maybe even then to get the blue boxes.)

  34. Harry Knowles

    Is Karoo able to display gearing info in 34×12 format?

  35. brad

    I am interested to know if the Karoo 2 will support ant+ lights? Supports varia radar but for me the lights are key!. Their site does not indicate that it does.

    • No ANT+ Lighting support, just ANT+ Radar.

    • Brad

      Thanks for the reply, this is disappointing… I know its almost become cliche to say this about the Karoo.. but that’s probably the only thing stopping me ordering one.. it has Di2, it has notifications, it has a beeper.. but lights is enough for me to keep my 3? Year old Garmin 820….

  36. ArT

    how many max data fields positions on the map screen?

  37. Matt Haigh

    Karoo email caught me at the right moment, totally fed up with flaky (WiFi & Bluetooth) connectivity and poor battery life of my second Garmin 820, I’ve put my deposit on a Karoo 2 rather than continue to subsidise Garmin by buying an 830.

    • Matt Haigh

      Karoo email caught me at the right moment, totally fed up with flaky (WiFi & Bluetooth) connectivity and poor battery life of my second Garmin 820, I’ve put my deposit on a Karoo 2 rather than continue to subsidise Garmin by buying an 830.

      Edit/addition, forget to ask if the Karoo 2 has a lanyard hole on the case? I like to use a lanyard as back up in case of a mount problem.

  38. Matt Haigh

    Edit/addition, forgot to ask if the Karoo 2 has a lanyard hole on the case?

    • Jim A

      It ships with a lanyard, so one would assume Yes.

      From the HH website:

      Each Karoo 2 order is shipped with the following items in the box:

      1 x Hammerhead Karoo 2
      1 x Hammerhead Bracket (Fits on 31.8mm Handlebars)
      1 x 2.5mm Allen key (for handlebar mount installation)
      1 x USB-C cable
      1 x Lanyard
      1 x Getting Started Guide

      link to support.hammerhead.io

  39. pdw

    How dependent is Karoo 2 on Hammerhead’s own service? The recent Garmin outage has made me even more wary of buying devices that are reliant on a specific online service. At least with Garmin I can copy routes and rides on and off the device manually. Can you do the same with a Karoo?

  40. usr

    Looks like a decent improvement over the way too chubby K1, but oh my god were they successful with that “big hands trick” in the teaser, I was expecting something closer to Bolt dimensions than to the 1030.

    With the weight down to 1030ish it seems a bit as if they are trying to win yesterday’s battles with that new mount, but I guess erring on the side of safety isn’t wrong.

    They might want to investigate the possibility of converter insert for mounts (instead of a concerted insert for the Karoo) as a more “Karooey” adapter solution. I think it might be possible to do a universal converter with a flexible screw recepticle for afffixing that “V-plate” on a minimal standoff spacer in various screw orientations. While the insert for the device is certainly far more universal it feels like a second class solution, a conversion kit for mounts would feel more serious.

    Smartphone notifications only as a future possibility doesn’t seem right at all, I think they should have waited.

  41. Drew

    So here’s my question… Live Tracking.
    The number 1 reason I returned my original Karoo was the lack of live tracking without… as you so eloquently put it, having to “provide revenue to your nearest wireless carrier.”

    Hammerhead’s FAQ specifically says there will not be Bluetooth tethering to cell phones and that you would have to use the Wifi hotspot on your phone, but they do mention being able to receive notifications.

    Have you tried live tracking on the new hardware, does it in fact require a SIM to use it, or is the software just not there yet?

    Do the notifications require a SIM or a Wifi connection, or are they via Bluetooth?

    This is something that Garmin, Wahoo and other GPS providers have had for years. It still just seems like a glaring oversight to not be able to provide tracking via the device. I realize that there are apps that can provide these services, but as with providing a wifi hotspot, I’ve found that they do this at the expense of battery life and I’ve had issues with trying to do that on rides over 3-5hrs.

    • I haven’t tried Live Tracking yet, as I haven’t stuck a SIM in there, and also the phone connectivity pieces aren’t enabled yet (just the place-holder screen I show above).

      The notifications should just require Bluetooth to your phone, that’s it.

    • Sab

      Having looked through Hammerhead’s FB page, they have responded to one of the question about phone connection and have said this (see attached image) and refers to your vid also.
      So it seems things are moving along swiftly to get the few loose ends all tidied up!

    • Good deal, looking forward to giving it a whirl. I may stick a SIM in there for one of my next rides, just to see how it goes.

      And – I agree with them on wireless charging at this point. Maybe down the road that’ll change, but I think for now the USB-C shift is the most important piece there.

    • Bojiggle

      Is there room to plug in the USB-C cable to charge while you’re riding though? It bugs me that I can only just get an L shaped USB cable into my Elemnt Bolt when it’s on the outfront mount.

    • On the current prototype mount I could actually fit some of my cables there. Not all, but some. Unsure if that’ll change or not.

    • JD

      My guess is a standard cable won’t fit with their new close-to-the-bar out-front mount but anyone with a standard out-front mount and Garmin adapter will have plenty of room.
      What they could have done was port the USB-C out the bottom and that would have worked with any cable or battery pack.
      I also see they placed the beeper out front on the bottom. That should be okay with volume control, but placing it on the end facing the rider would have been ideal.

    • Bojiggle

      Good to know, thanks :)

  42. Charlie

    Can I easily change routes mid-ride (Google maps kind of feature). So I can change my mind, instead of doing a loop I decide to have a stop at my friend’s place

  43. Stuart

    Will the price go up after pre-order? Timing is unfortunate being in the northern hemisphere. I would have been all over one if they made them available earlier. With demand, new pre-order delivery is December (IQ^2 anyone??). No point in getting one that may come in December or January and sit around for 3-4 months.

    Also, some folks are now posting that the Garmin mount may not be included as the pre-order page went from “included” to “available”.

  44. inSyt

    Interesting side note: The Karoo is a semi desert natural region of South Africa. No exact definition of what constitutes the Karoo is available, so its extent is also not precisely defined.

  45. Jeff

    Any word on what the new CPU is? Rumour is it’s a Qualcomm, but haven’t seen the actual model yet. The current Karoo CPU is a quad core -Cortex A53 at 1.3Ghz. The new one is also an ARM based Quad Core, but running at 1.1Ghz and no mention what chip it actually is. Overall, the speed doesn’t concern me since newer gen ARM CPU’s are a lot faster. Although… – if it’s still a old Cortex A53 it’ll concern me a little though. LoL

    Karoo 1 CPU detailed here:
    link to hammerhead.io

  46. Chris B

    Does this provide verbal turn-by-turn directions? The lack of that is my biggest criticism of Wahoo Elemnt and of looking for an alternative to Garmin that offers it.

  47. Sab

    It looks like the sound has been improved already if you watch Fernwee’s latest vid about them testing out the V.2. While they were navigating, you can clearly hear the beep – much louder than one was shown on Ray’s video. Hope this is a good sign of things to come when it is officially released!

  48. Gonçalo Pereira Nina

    Just like Garmin and specialized this GPS as the notification alarm in case of an accident?

    • No crash detection here.

    • pakibhai

      On my Edge 530, the crash detection has triggered twice, both times in non-crash situations. Then just over the weekend I wiped out at 30 mph, and it was completely silent as the bike (and me) went tumbling down a 10% incline. Another time I had a less serious fall from almost a stopped position, it never triggered then as well. So a pretty useless feature for me I’d say.

    • Jeff

      Apparently if you’re on the MTB profile it works better, but for road? Just heavy braking sets it off on the 1030, and trying to abort the sending a crash alert quickly is dangerous when on the bike. (not to mention on the 1030 it had a bug that rebooted the ANT/BT radios and permanently lost connection with the phone until you turned off bluetooth completely on the garmin and re-enabled). Most useless feature ever on road, and the source of some of the 1030’s persistent/recurring reliability bugs.

    • I haven’t had too many crash detection issues. Pretty rare (once every 6 months or so), and usually a combination of a pretty weird set of circumstances (like hard braking at full speed, followed by a strong pavement bump or something). But I’ve also had some friends crash into a tree while MTB and it not go off. Twice (they crashed twice on the same ride into two different trees…the second one finally sending them to the hospital with non-major injuries).

      One minor notable on how crash detection works though is that it won’t trigger from the stopped position, since it’s specifically looking at being at speed, and then a large g-force event. The idea there being that it doesn’t go off simply because you dropped it off a table or whatever. Thus why the going fast, stopping very quickly and hitting a bump would trigger it.

      But yeah, mileage varies for folks. It’s easy enough to disable either permanently or within the window if need be.

    • Paul S.

      It “works better” because it’s off. Garmin disables crash detection in the mountain bike profile, because the chance of false positives is just too great. I’ve had no false (or true, for that matter) positives on the road with my Edge 830.

    • Jeff

      I’ve not turned it on recently. Inevitably I’d be going at a good clip towards a light, and have it turn red on me necessitating a quick stop (but nothing too major) and it’d trigger. The only guys in the garmin 1030 forums that I saw being in favor were on the mtb side saying it worked fine off road, but maybe not.

      I continually had issues getting it to accept my abort presses during the window, then it bounced the radios so the sensors and radar briefly went offline, and killed my phone connection. I generally attribute that part of it to the antique hardware that was in the 1030 though (compared to the 830).

  49. Mattv

    The Karoo 1 is awesome. I have a Garmin 1030 that I sometimes use when I forget to charge the Karoo, but every time I use the 1030, I wish I was using the Karoo. It’s not perfect, but I love the fact that they are very software focused and push out regular fixes and updates. Some people may find it a disadvantage, but my Garmin is always glitching for one reason or the other. The biggest think i like about the Karoo is the big colorful display. So much easier to read..

  50. TomS

    Garmin mount adapter available to all pre-order purchasers:

    “To assure your Karoo 2 is backwards compatible, we will include a Garmin adapter as a thank you to each pre-order customer. Regular sale customers will be able to purchase more mounts or adapters when placing a final order.”

    link to support.hammerhead.io

  51. I had a Karoo I , but despite the endless updates, the 3 sec average power (or any other time frame) didn’t work, it just kept showing the last value for far to long when coasting, thus made average power far from correct… Has this been corrected with the never software since start of 2020 ? ( where I sold my Karoo ) .

    The “integration” of 3. part apps has it become a standard ? Or do I still have to get my software developer son to install something like Komoot ?

  52. Ryan Nelson

    What version of Android are they running? I’ve read some reports saying it’s a pretty old version. But if you’re already sideloading apps it should be pretty easy to check just with

    adb shell getprop ro.build.version.release

    I’m quite excited by this computer — looks like it could be a very solid alternative to something like the 1030 Plus, especially given that I don’t really pay attention to Garmin’s additional Firstbeat features.

  53. Bil Danielson

    Hey Ray,
    Curious if you know whether the Karoo2 will feature a ClimbPro – like feature? It’s one of the Garmin 530/830/1030 features I really do like, notwithstanding the weird menu hops Garmin uses to change its settings.

  54. Does the Karoo have automatic syncing of Strava routes to the device?

  55. Bil Danielson

    Thnx.. I think there is an elevation profile of an entire active course/route, but what I don’t know is if the Karoo2 will have code that drives climb segment detection based on slope and distance within a course. If it does, and it’s reliable, would be a killer feature imho.

  56. Petro

    Hi, does it have ANT+ LEV profile for Ebike’s support ?

  57. Joe

    A lot of USB-C ports are incorrectly wired and only work with a USB-A to USB-C cable. Any chance you can confirm if the Karoo 2 will charge with a USB-C to USB-C cable? And have they said at all what they mean by ‘fast charging’? Hopefully it’s a USB-PD power profile but there’s a lot of noncompliant specs out there too.

  58. This is great and exactly what I need.
    I am hoping they’ll improve the battery life although that quick USB-C charge is ideal.

  59. Wijnand

    I wonder how the navigation works for mountain biking (off road) Is it fast and accurate. Does anyone know that?

    • Fitmannj

      I can’t comment on the navigation function for off-road riding as I don’t use it. On a related issue, though, many mountain bike trails in my area are displayed using such a light line (dotted-line, etc.) that they are nearly impossible to see. I’ve brought this to Hammerhead’s attention, and apparently, they have more important things to address then the trails being nearly invisible. Unfortunately, I could name a number of other Karoo “features” for which mountain bikers are getting ignored. With such a nice screen, this is truly disappointing.

    • Zach

      Thanks. Looks like I’ll stick with Garmin then.

    • Wijnand

      Tanks, i will wait until there is more user experience with off road navigation

  60. Michal Szlezak

    Any News on possible Implementation of IQ data fields on Karoo2? Would love to jump Shiv from Garmin, but not being able to utilize AeroPod made me drop Karoo1…

    • JD

      Seem unlikely Hammerhead will support anything like the Connect IQ platform.
      3rd party apps will need to be Android based and either sideloaded (APK) or officially approved for use with a yet-to-be-announced Karoo app store that Hammerhead once alluded to. It’s unclear if they still plan to do that.

  61. Gilbert

    A few questions.
    1. Does the Karoo support the Garmin or open source version of cycling dynamics?
    2. Does the Karoo prompt you about big ring gear changes when using Shimano Di2 Synchro Shifting?

  62. AusTex2019

    What would be totally cool is a forward looking camera, why can’t anyone include that to take snaps or 10 second clips or accident footage a la CyclIQ (or how ever you spell it)

    • Brandon B

      I like the idea of this. Although I feel that we’re quite a ways away from that (at least a reasonably sized version). The cyclic one looks cool but video quality doesnt look that great compared to a GoPro (personal opinion) and neither seem to have decent battery life for long rides. A unit like this would be handy and I’m sure there is a market for it.

    • Andrew

      Shimano’s Action Camera, the CM-1000 had some of the features you mention.
      link to dcrainmaker.com
      Cameras drain batteries and will only record for 2-3 hours at high resolution while users want a bike computer that lasts 10-12 hours as a minimum.

  63. S Grover

    Will have to return the unit if the Garmin Mount is not included as I pre ordered

  64. Vincent Naw.

    Thanks for all the details !
    I am currently on Garmin Edge 520plus and thinking about upgrade. Would you recommend K2 against 1030, or 1030plus ?

    • It’s honestly gonna depend a bit on the features you want. There’s no denying the Edge 1030/Plus has far more features. Whether or not you use those features is really the defining question.

  65. Jon Bowen


    Do you know if this will do the round route with similar features as Garmin offer?


  66. Henry Chickenkisser

    Does Karoo 2 have to be paired through the Bluetooth at all times? Could it operate on stand-alone without having to be connected to any other device(s) all the time? Could it download onto itself any .GPX file on the go by any chance? Can I use it in the woods when I’m not cycling? When I’m in the woods, can it guide me to get back to the civilisation somehow? Can it navigate me to get to all the points on a particular map in its memory without showing me how a crow would fly—if you know what I mean? I offer you my profound gratitude and appreciation if you were so kind to provide me with your unbiased thoughts—for which, I thank you in advance. Stay safe. Cheers…

  67. Joe

    Looks like they’re showing previews of how smartphone notifications will work in the support page ( link to support.hammerhead.io ) though it’s not clear if the companion app is actually available yet. Have you been able to try this at all for yourself yet?

    • Brandon B

      I noticed this myself, today. I see only Android listed as an option (not surprised based on the OS), hopefully an iOS app is in the works as well.

    • pdw

      “the Companion App has to be running to receive notifications on the Karoo 2.”

      This bothers me. I sold my Wahoo because in order to get make a connection, the companion app had to be brought to the foreground at the start of each ride. This was useless for me, as by the time I turn my bike computer on, my phone is buried in my pocket or bag.

  68. S. Nelson

    Caveat Emptor- Buyer Beware

    I was an early adopter of the Karoo, long before it was ready for prime time. Later software updates fixed most of the glitches, but by then I began having hardware issue after issue. 2 mount failures (thank goodness I installed the lanyard), automatic shutoffs mid-ride, and then rapidly decreased battery life. The time in normal use on a full charge went from 6 hrs to 30 minutes in less than a month.

    Customer support responded quickly to my emails (there is no phone or live chat support) and suggested all sorts of recalibrations and resets, none of which worked. The company has no provision at all for sending a unit in for repair or refurbishment, even for a few, so at this point after merely 2.5 years, I’ve got a shiny paperweight.

    Worst of all, after sending me an email back in July thanking me for my patience and loyalty, and explicitly offering me a free exchange for a Karoo 2 after the pre-orders were filled, they gave reneged on that. Won’t even allow me the $120 credit on a trade in.

    When my Karoo worked as advertised, it was awesome, but it was truly rare to go out on a ride and have that occur.

    In the meantime, be aware, that this company cannot or will not stand behind their products if you have a serious issue after the 45 day warranty period is over. Plus, making generous offers is nice, but only if you intend to stick to them. Talk is cheap, action matters.

  69. Todd

    There is good and bad about the Karoo. The screen is very bright and responsive. Its HEAVY. UI is fast.

    I have had problems with my Karoo V1 during rides which caused lost or inconsistent data.

    In addition there are missing functions that have made using it for me a less than a smooth road.

    Hammerhead says it supports all ANT+ devices, but the 2x Wahoo ANT+ HRM that I own the Karoo would not recognize. I bought the Karoo with the understanding I would be able t use some of my existing sensors. When I spoke with support their recommendation was to buy a Bluetooth HRM.

    If you need ANT+ then be aware the functionality may not work for you

    Karoo does not sync with Map My Ride or Endomundo.

    The Karoo does not record Calories. If you want calories you have to spend another $500+ for a separate power meter. Every other computer in this range that I know of records calories, but not the Karoo.

    Personally I do not see myself buying another Karoo. For $400 there are better options(I got mine for $279) We are in the market for a new computer for my GF and am not considering the Karoo, a Garmin or Wahoo maybe.

  70. Sean K.

    I pre-ordered the Karoo 2. Recently received notification that there will be a delay of about a month. That’s certainly understandable in light of 2020/Covid/WorkingFromHome. Still excited about getting it.

  71. Florian

    Can the hammerhead mount take any GoPro/LED/Light-adapters to be mounted underneath the Karoo 2? I hate having a GPS mounted and then obstructing the light output by having to mount the light on my handlebars.

  72. PaddyS

    pre-ordered and paid, got notified it will take another month until the first units get delivered. this is such a joke, they claimed “summer 2020” when teasing it beginning of the year and claimed end of summer 2020 when pre-orders could be done. If we get lucky the first pre-orders will be fulfilled in December, most people will probably only get theirs in 2021. i guess lance Armstrong taught them well about how to fool people.

    lesson learned: next time don’t trust hammerhead but just go ahead and buy the Garmin/Wahoo. I am stuck here without a proper GPS right now for another few months having spent already close to 400 USD to replace my broken one…

    • Dwayne

      Considering how covid is screwing with supply chains, it’s not too surprising that things are delayed. And at least they’re staying on top of communicating with customers ahead of time.

      I’m confused how you’re out close to $400 to replace a broken GPS. My pre-order payment was something like $90 or so, and it’s refundable. If I urgently needed a GPS until the Karoo2 is shipped, I would just pick up a used Bolt/Element/520/530 and sell it for close to what I paid for it later on. *shrug*

    • PaddyS

      Supply chains are mostly back to normal as production facilities in Asia are fully operational since July and have adjusted. Even shipping times are back to pre covid levels.

      Couldn’t disagree more with you and based on all their social media channels I am not the only one who’s upset. YouTube and Instagram is full of ppl complaining and not getting responses from the company that praises them self to be “close to their community” haha it’s funny…the irony

      They only communicated the delay after the 2nd payment was done on my side – that was 400$ in total. But I appreciate your suggestion it just won’t work in my case anymore.

      Anyway it just shows that fanboys will probably stick to the brand but if they want to actually grow and take market share of Garmin, Wahoo and co they need to start acting differently-and also stop ignoring negative comments on social like the have done so far.

    • Drew D

      I hate to say it PaddyS, but this seems like more of the same that we saw from the pre-order and initial launch of the original Karoo and was a big part of the reason I returned mine for a refund. I even asked them if they would extend their return period as many of the advertised features were still in development, but they sent me an RMA number instead.

      I wish you luck in getting a resolution to this and understand your frustration.

    • PaddyS

      Thanks Drew – that’s exactly the thing I feared when I went for the Karoo 2 but I wanted to give them a try. I do work in tech and love supporting new, exciting companies but they clearly have an issue here as your and my story can be found all over forums, Reddit, and social media.

      Still crossing my fingers and hoping to still receive my unit in 2020….

    • Dwayne

      Ah, did you pre-order early enough that you were in the first round, and you’ve since put in the full payment for the unit? I was a day late, and haven’t gotten the email yet to actually order, so I’ve only put up the pre-order payment as of right now. Your $400 makes sense then.

      I’m also very skeptical of promised features that are “in the pipeline”, and have posted that exact sentiment on one of Hammerhead’s Facebook posts regarding the Karoo 2. I’m a software developer, and I know what “in the pipeline” can mean. We’ve had projects at work on the To Do list for years, that we just don’t get to, because there’s always something more urgent, so promising me features does me no good if there isn’t a somewhat firm, reliable timeline and roadmap for them.

      I’ve been using a Wahoo Elemnt for a bit over a year, and it’s not all roses in this camp, either. The thing was bombproof in the beginning, but since early this year, it seems like every update Wahoo releases ends up breaking something else, and you can’t opt out of updating the unit, so that’s been very frustrating, too. I like the idea of the Karoo, so I figured I’d give it a chance, but I’m also fully prepared to send the thing back on day 45 if it doesn’t live up to the hype.

    • Brandon B

      That does seem odd.
      I am on the first batch order, but I didn’t have to make my full payment until Oct 26 – the email they sent to me about the delay was around Oct 16th. When did you make your full payment?

      Anyways, I get where your coming from. I’ve also been quite frustrated and am surprised/annoyed by the delays.
      However, this unit will hopefully be better than the competition – and honestly, they did say in 2020 – now they missed their ‘late Oct’ promise – but I’d rather they just sort their crap out and get a working product than something pushed through production.
      In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably going to be a month delay, it’s annoying but you can just request a refund and be done with it if you can’t hang tight any longer.

  73. TJ

    Disappointing that none of the marketing promises for pre-orderers (inc me) have been delivered – no pre-setup options via website, no ‘behind the scenes’ updates, in fact no updates at all since ordering in August. They’ve also said that the Varia radar is fixed on the LH side and an option for the RH side isn’t being considered (in my view, the RH side is visually better for those of use who drive on the LH side). No mixed units option is a negative for me – how hard can this be to implement on such an advanced platform? Wahoo seem to manage it.
    I’ve cancelled my order for now and will review feedback in the Spring. To be fair, they did respond and refund me within 24 hours.

    • david southgate

      Disappointed also – put a deposit down on pre-order and the only email and update has been a delay.

      Going to request a refund

    • Karoo User

      Today I got the message that my order can be shipped. Pre-ordered in August.

      Concerning what I like about the Karoo 1: It can basically do anything, as there are still numerous Android apps which I still prefer to the native system and which can easily side loaded and run perfectly. Locus, Oruxmaps, Alltrails, Komoot to name a few. I hope it will work like that in with the new Karoo 2. ANT+ and Bluetooth are working. I do not like native MTB navigation or exploring a new area as it still lacks flexible dedicated map styles or strava heatmap (or any other map) overlay.

  74. Hey folks!

    Just a super quick note that since my in-depth review has been released for the Karoo 2, I’m going to go ahead and close this older first look/hands-on post to new comments. Just to keep things tidy as usual.

    Of course, you’re more than welcome to continue the Karoo 2 conversation over on the final review post here: link to dcrainmaker.com