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Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2/2021 with Color Screen & Maps: A Review In Progress

DSC_4907

It’s been four years since the original Wahoo BOLT was announced, which was arguably Wahoo’s most important bike computer in terms of shifting consumers towards their offerings. Designed to be small and easy to use, it garnered many fans. However, it lacked full onboard routable maps, as well as a color screen. Wahoo then fixed that with the Wahoo ROAM two years ago, albeit in a larger and pricier form factor.

But now, the world is righted again, and the new Wahoo BOLT (it doesn’t have any different name) includes a full color screen, full maps, and basically, is a mini Wahoo ROAM. All for $279USD (compared to the ROAM’s $379). There are almost no new unique features that the ROAM didn’t have previously, so if you wanted a cheaper/smaller ROAM, then this is likely for you. Whereas if you were looking for new advanced features from Wahoo, this release doesn’t provide that.

Nonetheless, the unit is just as full-featured as that ROAM (actually, more full-featured). It’s got full ANT+ & Bluetooth Sensor support, GPS/Galileo/GLONASS connectivity, structured workout support, turn by turn navigation, live tracking, the ability to make Star Wars icons for approaching cars with Varia radar, and phone/text integration. It’s also got one hardware feature the Wahoo ROAM doesn’t: USB-C charging. Yes folks: We finally got the USB-C!

Now about this point you’ve noticed the title isn’t (yet) “In-Depth Review” – at some point, it’ll get there. But today my peoples…today is most definitely not that day. Mostly because try as I might, things simply haven’t been usable for me. I have yet to have a single cohesive ride without significant issues. But I’ll dive into that later in the ‘Caveat’ section.

Note that for this review I’m using a media loaner from Wahoo. Once this review is done, I’ll get it boxed back up and sent back to them. After which I’ll likely go out and buy my own for future use. If you found this review useful, you can use the links at the bottom, or consider becoming a DCR Supporter which makes the site ad-free, while also getting access to a mostly weekly video series behind the scenes of the DCR Cave. And of course, it makes you awesome.

With that, let’s get into it.

What’s New:

While the BOLT V2 (which, is still technically just called the Wahoo BOLT, not V2), might look roughly similar from the outside, there’s actually quite a bit different under the covers. In fact, one could argue it’s entirely different under the covers – hell, even the [USB] cover to the covers [internals] is different.

Here’s the quick and dirty bulleted list of everything that’s different on the new Wahoo BOLT:

– Added full onboard routable mapping (like ROAM)
– Added color display
– Increased colors to 64 colors (from 8 colors on the ROAM)
– Added color-tied data fields (based on HR and power zones)
– Increased internal storage to 16GB (ROAM had 4GB, BOLT had 4GB)
– Added onboard elevation data to map sets (not previously in ROAM due to lack of storage space)
– Have almost all of Europe/North America/Australia maps preloaded (with rest of world available via WiFi download)
– Buttons now pop-up, as opposed to divots (far easier for gloves)
– Switched to USB-C port (generally more durable, also IPX7 waterproof)
– Added faster charging, 5AMP vs 1.5AMP
– Battery door/cap also replaceable, versus previously not (could get torn off previously)
– Added support for more messaging notification apps (WhatsApp, Line, Signal, and Telegram)
– Changed a lot of the user interface fonts (compared to anything prior)
– Added ambient light sensor (in ROAM, previously not in BOLT)
– Increased size slightly, weight went up too, from 61g to 70g (ROAM is 95g, Edge 530 is 79g)
– Battery life stays the same at a claimed 15 hours

Got all that? Good, let’s keep moving and crack open that box then.

Digging into the details:

DSC_4792

For this post, I’m going to dig into some of the new features and explain them a bit deeper. I also do that within the video up above, if you prefer a more audio-visual experience. Eventually, I’ll expand this post out into the normal sections on basics usage and stuff, but not until things settle down a bit with the firmware.

First up is the new full onboard routable maps. This is notable because while the BOLT in the past had “maps”, it didn’t really have maps. It just had a black and white stencil that it sorta faked overlaying your route atop. Meaning, the data wasn’t routable. The BOLT itself didn’t know that you were on Main street or 1st Avenue. It just fed you the instructions that were pre-determined in the route file from a mapping provider like Komoot or others. As such, when you went off-route, you didn’t get turn by turn instructions. You were instead just told…Good luck.

With the new BOLT though, its just like the ROAM – it’ll properly re-route you back. So for example, yesterday a few different places on my route there was construction. As a result, the bike path was closed. While the Dutch are exceptionally good about marking detours for bikes, the BOLT offered a re-route of its own (which, matched the official city re-route). You’ll see blue chevrons on the screen indicating the re-route taking you back on course.

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Meanwhile, for normal routing you’ll get turn by turn instructions as well, and this is where they use some of the coloring to indicate the upcoming turns:

IMG_3354

Speaking of which, the coloring on the new BOLT actually exceeds that of the ROAM. The ROAM has 8 colors, but they use various shading to make it look like more colors than it really has. Whereas the BOLT has 64 colors. I know…I know, Retina screens these are not. But then again – that’s sorta the point – to conserve battery, and in the case of Wahoo, it’s always been about a more minimal look than the more colorful screens from Garmin, or even Hammerhead.

DSC_4841

And while you’ll see coloring throughout the mapping pages, as well as Strava – the major new area is on data fields now. Certain data fields, notably power and heart rate, have zone coloring. These allow it to match the color-coding that you’ve specified for your zones, in effect mimicking what Wahoo has historically used the glanceable LED’s for on the edge of their devices. First, here’s my zones:

IMG_3363

And then you can see this playing out within the power field in blue, and the heart rate in yellow:

image

Next, the new BOLT has expanded storage, now 16GB versus the 4GB previously (the ROAM also only has 4GB). That’s notable for two reasons. First is that Wahoo now pre-loaded all of Europe/North America/Australia maps, meaning that if you travel, it’s far less likely you’d need to add maps to the unit. As a reminder, Wahoo includes all maps globally on their platform, so if you were to travel to somewhere that wasn’t pre-loaded, you merely need to use the Wahoo app, which tells the BOLT to connect to WiFi to download them.

However, more interesting than that though is the now included elevation data within the map set. Meaning, previously Wahoo’s maps didn’t include elevation data in the mapset, which meant that if the mapping provider (e.g. Strava or Komoot or anyone else) didn’t provide that elevation data with the route sent to it, you didn’t get the elevation data mid-ride, showing how long the climb was or how pancake flat (most of) the Netherlands is. It was more of an issue years ago, as these days virtually all of Wahoo’s 3rd party routing apps send the data correctly.

But, this also helps Wahoo’s own app, specifically for the ‘Take me to’ feature, which allows you to enter an address in the app and route one-way to that address. Anyway, I’d love to show this to you – but, I lack any meaningful hills/mountains around here. I might get down to some halfway acceptable hills later this week though, so I’ll pull it into my full review then. One minor thing is that while many of the minor tweaks discussed in this post will come to the existing Wahoo ELEMNT lineup, this particular one won’t, as it requires substantially more storage space.

Next, there’s expanded support for messaging services. This includes now adding in support for WhatsApp, Line, Signal, and Telegram – which is in addition to your previous text messaging support. As a reminder, text messages look like this:

vlcsnap-2021-05-25-13h32m55s825

This change will be rolled out to all Wahoo ELEMNT units.

Also, about this point in the post, existing Wahoo users are probably noticing a bunch of tweaks to the fonts and format styling. Wahoo says they “did a lot of research on accessibility of fonts, font sizes, capitalization, and more” and made a slew of changes as a result. These changes aren’t planned for the ROAM at this time, since some of them are also tied to the new coloring schemes with the added 64 colors.

Now, let’s rip through a bunch of quick hardware changes. First up – my favorite: They USB-C’d all the things! Well played!

DSC_4886

The new charging port is IPX7 waterproof (meaning 30 minutes at 1-meter deep, in case you fall into a canal), and even more importantly supports faster charging, accepting up to 5A of power versus the previous 1.5A. The other benefit of USB-C ports is they tend to be more durable long-term as well.

However, to get to said port, you’ll have unknowingly passed another tiny new feature, which is the new battery door/cap. That part is now replaceable, in case it gets ripped off by your 1-year-old in a fit of cracker induced rage. Previously, that was not fixable (though, the port was previously also water resistant too).

DSC_4888

Next, if you look carefully at the front of the unit you’ll find the ambient light sensor in the upper left corner. This sensor will automatically turn on the backlight in darker lighting conditions, such as tunnels or at night. In my testing it didn’t quite respond as fast as I would have liked – with some tunnels never quite triggering. Though, it’s also possible that was just part of the general bundle of issues I was having.

DSC_4891

Finally, a quick look at size, here is the Wahoo BOLT V1, V2, and Wahoo ROAM – as well as the Garmin Edge 530:

DSC_4895

With that larger size, the weight went up slightly as well, from 61g to 70g (for context, the Wahoo ROAM is 95g, and the Garmin Edge 530 is 79g). Here’s the old BOLT stacked atop the new BOLT (as the new BOLT is bigger).

DSC_4893

Oh – and for lack of anywhere else to stick it, one question I asked Wahoo is whether or not this unit marks a potential ending point for the firmware of the Wahoo ROAM (or even the existing BOLT), given some of the features are tied to shifts in storage on the new BOLT. They said nope – they still plan to add new features there, even specifically noting “We have a lot of post-launch features…including to back-dated products”. They went on to say that as long as the feature isn’t dependent on coloring, screen specifics, memory, or other hardware limitations – they’ll try and include it in, specifically noting that “very limited feature updates that would fall into that [no-update category]”, and that they don’t “intend to penalize our customers” for buying their past products.

The Big Caveat:

Wahoo-BOLT-V2-Box

Now at this point, I’d normally have all sorts of nifty sections in this review. But then again, this isn’t called an in-depth review. It’s a ‘review in progress’, because, frankly, I can’t get the photos and video I need to actually make it a review. I wish I could. For more than a week and a half I’ve been iterating firmware versions, playing whack-a-mole with issues.

Wahoo’s working on things, but I’ve had one of the worst test experience I’ve ever had on a GPS unit. Data fields sometimes take 2-3 minutes to update, I’ve got never-ending crashes, as well as constant sensor dropouts across multiple sensor types (HR, power, cadence, eTAP). I went 6 miles the wrong direction on yesterday’s ride because it didn’t tell me otherwise, mapping was often minutes behind my actual position (when it, rarely, worked). Chunks of ride files lost, live tracking randomly ending 1-mile into a ride. Today it crashed mid-ride, sensors dropped out again frequently (and spiked in other cases), and map/turn notifications were on average 30-90 seconds delayed. The list goes on and on (seriously, there are endless e-mail threads on it).

In my case, I set things up like a normal user, such as using a Wahoo TICKR HR strap, a single power meter, and simple synced Strava routes.

Wahoo believes the core of my issues may be related to the density of the bike routes and map data in my area (Amsterdam), as stability seems to improve the further away from Amsterdam I get, and then get worse the closer I get back home. Though, even that’s not always consistent. However, other folks I know and trust have had essentially flawless experiences, potentially because they ride in places that aren’t the world’s epicenter for bike paths and bike infrastructure.

Ironically, you’ll remember almost exactly three years ago – my choice of hometown ended up delaying the Garmin Edge 520 Plus launch too – for exactly the same reasons (albeit, minus all the crashes, lost ride chunks, and sensor dropouts). It’s astounding how close that scenario is to this scenario. But like that one, I don’t really know when Wahoo will fix the issue, or who else it might impact. Wahoo is frantically trying to figure it out, and perhaps they’ll have a solution this afternoon. Or, it might not be for two months. I just don’t know – and I don’t think they know either. Else, there wouldn’t be a Wahoo engineer parked outside the DCR cave right now off re-riding my yesterday ride with a just-released developer test firmware that might solve at least one of my core issues.

Thus, until I can get a single functional successful ride (hell, indoors or outdoors), it’s hard to start truly forming a long-term opinion of the new BOLT.

Update – Friday Evening May 28th: Wahoo’s engineers worked through the night to track down the cause of the core density routing issue which was essentially death-spiraling the issue. They then tested it from the DCR Cave, side by side with units on the old firmware and new firmware. The old firmware death spiraled, the new firmware fixed that issue. I then went out for a ride with it, and was able to successfully complete the ride. As well as another ride this afternoon/evening. No routing issues, nor crash issues. Some minor sensor issues for both ANT+ HR (Wahoo TICKR) & ANT+ power (Quarq DZero), that I’ll continue to work with them. I’ll circle back likely late next week to convert this to a full in-depth review.

Update 2 – June 14th, 2021: There are good days (rides) and bad days (rides). That’s where I’m at with the BOLT V2. Last weekend I had a horrendous ride that crashed the unit twice and eventually totally shut off, leaving me in the middle of nowhere without a functional BOLT. This past weekend was mostly good. It got me where I was going, and without major issue. Still, there are lots of minor issues (echoed by tons of people in the comments). Still had sensor dropouts on the heart rate side, still have incorrect elevation data, still have no notifications, and there’s still some quirky re-routing choices (not horrible, but kinda weird).

Summary:

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As one might surmise at this juncture, writing a summary section is tricky for me right now. If we temporarily set aside the less than optimal experience I’ve had thus far, I’d say on paper this is a great option for either existing Wahoo BOLT users that want maps or color, or people who simply wanted to get into the Wahoo ecosystem without the price of the Wahoo ROAM. That’s notable for those that may be considering a Wahoo RIVAL watch, and are looking at some of that integration there on the triathlon side.

At the same time, I don’t think there’s really any reason for existing Wahoo ROAM users to pick up a BOLT V2. Sure, it has a few minor new tweaks, but unless you really wanted the smaller size, it’s probably not worth the mostly lateral shift. Similarly, I’m not convinced this is a model that’s going to take away any significant sales from the Garmin Edge 530 (at $299), given that it’s got a cruise ship full of added features Wahoo doesn’t have, and is largely considered pretty stable and dependable these days. But as has been the case for the last 1-2 years, most decisions on Wahoo vs Garmin tend to be more like political discussions than anything. It’s the sports tech equivalent of iOS vs Android.

Now as I already beat to death above, I simply don’t know when Wahoo will fix the substantial issues I saw (and it sounds like some others saw too). It’s entirely plausible the engineer that departed here a few minutes ago with the most recent internal development build will come back without failures, thus passing off the unit to me to ride for a bit and see if I can break it. Or, maybe he won’t come back at all – a victim to the routing issues I had. Or, maybe he’ll stop at the now open bar terraces and call it done. I don’t know. But, when I do know – I’ll report back.

With that – thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

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

If you're shopping for the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2/2021 or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

Barfly 4 Prime Out-Front Aluminum Mount

I love out-front mounts. Both Barfly and K-Edge make good ones. I primarily use the aluminum ones though, because this mount comes with a GoPro (and light/Di2) adapter on the bottom. So I can mount a GoPro up front and have the footage be rock solid.

The Garmin Varia radar alerts you to cars coming up behind you, well before you see them. It's awesome for quieter roads (country roads/mountains), especially on longer rides. It's less useful for city riding. The RVR315 skips the light.

The Varia radar has become incredibly popular in the last year, with most bike GPS companies supporting it (Wahoo, Stages, Hammerhead, Garmin, and more soon). It notifies you of overtaking traffic. While useless for cities, it's amazing for quieter country roads.

Wahoo RPM Sensor

This dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensor will transmit cadence not only to your bike computer/watch, but also 3rd party apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and more.

Wahoo SPEED Sensor

Speed sensors are primarily useful for offroad usage. I don't find much of a need for one while road-cycling, but for mountain bike trails they can help alleviate speed/distance issues with poor GPS reception in dense trees.

The Wahoo TICKR is their baseline dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart chest strap that includes basic broadcasting of heart rate data to apps. If you don't care about all the fancy features of the TICKR X, this is one of the best straps out there. The 'just works' factor is high.

The TICKR FIT is Wahoo's optical HR sensor band, and overall it's a pretty solid no-frills offering. It broadcasts dual ANT+/BLE with a claimed 30 hours of battery life. It doesn't have any other features beyond that. Simple and straightforward.

Wahoo TICKR X (2020 Edition)

The TICKR X is Wahoo's top-end chest strap that not only does dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart (with two Bluetooth Smart channels), but also Running Dynamics, running pace, storage of workouts when you don't have a watch/phone, and even music control and laps. It's a solid option that I often use in comparison testing.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

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

If you're shopping for the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2/2021 or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

Barfly 4 Prime Out-Front Aluminum Mount

I love out-front mounts. Both Barfly and K-Edge make good ones. I primarily use the aluminum ones though, because this mount comes with a GoPro (and light/Di2) adapter on the bottom. So I can mount a GoPro up front and have the footage be rock solid.

The Garmin Varia radar alerts you to cars coming up behind you, well before you see them. It's awesome for quieter roads (country roads/mountains), especially on longer rides. It's less useful for city riding. The RVR315 skips the light.

The Varia radar has become incredibly popular in the last year, with most bike GPS companies supporting it (Wahoo, Stages, Hammerhead, Garmin, and more soon). It notifies you of overtaking traffic. While useless for cities, it's amazing for quieter country roads.

Wahoo RPM Sensor

This dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensor will transmit cadence not only to your bike computer/watch, but also 3rd party apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and more.

Wahoo SPEED Sensor

Speed sensors are primarily useful for offroad usage. I don't find much of a need for one while road-cycling, but for mountain bike trails they can help alleviate speed/distance issues with poor GPS reception in dense trees.

The Wahoo TICKR is their baseline dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart chest strap that includes basic broadcasting of heart rate data to apps. If you don't care about all the fancy features of the TICKR X, this is one of the best straps out there. The 'just works' factor is high.

The TICKR FIT is Wahoo's optical HR sensor band, and overall it's a pretty solid no-frills offering. It broadcasts dual ANT+/BLE with a claimed 30 hours of battery life. It doesn't have any other features beyond that. Simple and straightforward.

Wahoo TICKR X (2020 Edition)

The TICKR X is Wahoo's top-end chest strap that not only does dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart (with two Bluetooth Smart channels), but also Running Dynamics, running pace, storage of workouts when you don't have a watch/phone, and even music control and laps. It's a solid option that I often use in comparison testing.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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854 Comments

  1. Roland K

    Yesterday, I bought a Garmin Edge 530 and a Wahoo Bolt v2. Today a first comparison on a XC parcours in Bergschenhoek (The Netherlands). The length of the parcours is 7.1 km, ascending height = 155 m. First I rode 1 lap, then 2 laps. Based on the differences of the tracks of the last 2 laps, Bolt v2 is slightly more consistent compared to the Edge 530, though differences are very small (will upload a screenshot of the 2 laps per unit). Very happy with the GPS accuracy of the Bolt v2.

    Barometer-based ascending heights on Bolt v2 are 15.5% too high; on Edge 530 they are 1.5% too high. Not very happy with the Bolt v2. Bolt v2 readings per lap: 184 m, 176 m, 170 m. Edge 530 readings per lap: 161 m, 157 m, 154 m. The ascending height errors on the Bolt v2 do not seem to be random; the readings are consistently too high.

    Before start, I waited 10 min with both units turned on.

    7 data fields on both units. Display of Edge 530 good (everything was easy readable, auto brightness on ); display of Bolt v2 excellent. Cloudy day (no sunshine).

    Font on Bolt v2 much better than on Edge 530. Bolt v2 makes much more efficiently use of the limited display size; Edge 530 could be improved significantly by just choosing another font; display of Bolt v2 is much denser packed with data compared to the Edge 530, which has plenty of unused space. Decimals difficult to read on the Bolt v2 due to the small font size when 7 data fields have been chosen.

    Next days I will check the navigation features with emphasis on readability in sunlight and size and details of the maps.

    So far, very impressed with both units. Ascending height uncertainty on Bolt v2 is my main concern so far. When riding MTB marathons, I would like to be sure that the ascending height meters are correct.

    By the way, no issue with temperature readings: Bolt v2: min 17 deg, max 25 deg; Edge 530: min 15 deg, max 24 deg.

    Finally, my Bolt v2 came with a rubber cover for the USB C port, which is attached to the Bolt v2, very similar to the cover of the Edge 530. That’s because some users reported that there is no cover at all or that 1-2 covers (not attached to the Bolt v2) were delivered and worried about loosing them.

  2. Roland K

    Track (2 laps) as recorded on the Edge 530.

  3. Roland K

    Tracks (2 laps) as recorded on the Bolt v2

  4. Robert

    Yesterday I got a firmware update for my Bolt v2 version WA20-13301 after installing the update the unit automaticaliy performed a downgrade to version WA20-11563 and a factory reset. After setting up the unit again with a new device id in the companion app I again tried the update, but with the same result.
    Strange thing is the firmware version is not listed on the Wahoo page.
    Anyone else having this issue? And maybe a solution?

  5. Roland K

    My Bolt v2 runs the version WA20-13301. No problems at all.

  6. Roland K

    Today, I did a second comparison of Bolt v2 versus Edge 530. 64 km trails in the centre of the Netherlands, mostly in the forest. Today, I waited just 5 min after the units were turned on before I started the recordings.
    Totally, 813 m elevation gain.

    Elevation gain Bolt v2 4% too high (compared with 15.5% yesterday) and Edge 530 1.5% too high, which is exactly the same as yesterday. Very satisfied with both units.

    No temperature issues with the Bolt v2: min = 17 deg C, max = 26 deg C; Edge 530: min = 16 deg C, max = 25 deg C.

    Elevations also pretty consistent: Bolt v2: min elevation = 6 m, max elevation = 66 m; Edge 530: min elevation = 12 m, max elevation = 71 m.

    Backlight on Bolt v2 was set to automatic. I noticed that in the darker forest, the Bolt v2 turned on the backlight too late; display was hard to read. In this case, you need to set the backlight manually on, which is quickly done on the Bolt v2. I wish Wahoo would change the threshold and turn the backlight on earlier in the automatic mode. The brightness on the Edge 530 changes gradually depending on the sensor input. Consequently, the display was perfectly to read in the forest. Brightness adapts amazingly fast as I noticed already yesterday. Works perfectly on the Edge 530.

  7. Richard Gate

    I’ve returned from Transiberica where I used the Bolt v2 over 2,800km over 10 days.
    My riding partner was using the V1 as a useful comparison. Overall I remain delighted with the v2.
    Battery life is excellent, consistently getting 300km following a route, using power and gear selection connnections and using the backlight for 1-2 hours over up to 16hrs total.
    The battery indicator is now totally reliable.
    Elevation is correct, matching road signposts in Spanish mountains.
    Temperature reads too high by 2-3 degrees C in relation to Bolt v1.
    GPS initial lockon remains slow v Bolt v1 but once locked the auto pause is now satisfactory in performance.
    The unit now appears to offer calibration of my stages crank, though torque offset reports as zero so clearly still work to be done.
    The colour screen and general usability is excellent and my confidence is such that I sold my v1 already!

  8. matthias

    I am happy with the v2, but three things keep bugging me.

    1.The v2 has the maps/data on the device, hence the rerouting possibilities. But why does’nt the elevation map change accordingly? I still see the hills from the original route.

    2. climbpro feature. V2 has the data on the device, it has colors. Why can’t they use this data to highlight a climb with colors as an indication to the hill % ? It doesn’t have to be as sophisticated as the Garmin feature, but please, something?

    3.the gps chip is slow, ok, I can live with the dealy when starting a ride. But the autopauze really doens’t have a clue what’s happening, is ti?

  9. Kevin C

    Turn-by-turn is still off by 20-80 feet (10-20ish meters), which isn’t terrible for navigating in the countryside, but could be a problem in small villages where you’d definitely want the map page displayed. The auto-pause seems mainly to be working OK. Connecting to sensors is still very slow and I’m still having trouble with it dropping sensors, especially during extended pauses, but the most recent incident was prior to the latest firmware update. Regarding GPS chip speed, I’m still suspecting they got some knock-off chips from AliExpress or something. :^D

  10. ded4bike

    I have an old model Garmin 1030, it works more or less well with the latest updates, it is quite stable but I don’t like the way of tracing the tracks and the constant problems with komoot are a bit stressed. even the speed of the interface is a bit limited …
    do you think it is worth replacing it with the bolt v2? does it integrate better with komoot? t
    o plan bike tracks who is better?
    perhaps the biggest brake that makes me resist is the garmin ecosystem for training management (training status, ftp estimate, etc …) that I would lose by switching to wahoo. could you give me some advice?

    tanks

    • Realistically, I don’t see many people replacing an Edge 1030 with a BOLT. I wouldn’t say it does Komoot any better (basic route following is the same, but the Edge has far more functionality beyond just following the line).

      And there’s no training management at all on the Wahoo platform (in terms of the metrics you mentioned).

      Most people shift for the BOLT/etc for a more simplified and smaller bike computer. Coming from the Edge 1030, if that’s what you’re looking for – it’ll work out. But if you’re looking for equal or more refined features, I don’t think you’ll get what you want.

      And unfortunately, based on what I’ve seen in recent rides over the last week, I still don’t see navigational aspects as stable as I want on the BOLT V2.

  11. Roland K

    After two weeks intensive use of the Bolt v2, I can’t confirm issues with GPS accuracy and temperature; they both are fine. I also don’t have issues with navigation (though I did not check navigation on trails, only roads and bike lanes). Ascent/descent meters are still 5-10% too high, but nothing exceptionally bad. My main issue so far is the long time it takes the Bolt v2 to get the first GPS fix. After power on the unit, it takes about 5 minutes to get a fix (no obstacles all around). This finding is based on a check of the elevation data field. As long as there is “–” in this field, I guess there is no reasonable 3D GPS position available.

    • Stephen Thomas

      > This finding is based on a check of the elevation data field. As long as there is “–” in this field, I guess there is no reasonable 3D GPS position available.

      FWIW, on the Roam you can switch to the route page and it will display an actual text box with the GPS reception status (e.g. “No GPS” then “GPS Reception Poor”) until the GPS is fully acquired. At that point the text box goes away. Presumably this is the behavior of the Bolt2 as well, thought I don’t have one to check.

    • Roland K

      Good to know. Will check it soon and let you know about the result.

    • Roland K

      @ Stephen: I checked the Bolt 2 but it does not show a text box with the GPS reception status when switching to the route page as you noticed on the Roam.

    • Higli

      Yes, it does.

    • Stephen Thomas

      That makes sense. I would have been very surprised if the Bolt differed from the Roam in this respect.

      @Roland: Note that the text box goes away as soon as the GPS reception is good. In the case of the Roam, that can often happen faster than I can switch to the Routes page. I generally only see the GPS status in this way if I travel to a new location and power on the Roam there for the first time. In other cases, the cache is usually up-to-date, and GPS acquisition is nearly instantaneous.

    • Roland K

      I will keep an eye on this. On the other hand, as long as in the elevation data field no figure is shown I have to assume that there is no 3D GPS solution available yet.

    • Roland K

      Here are my findings: turn on the unit; moved to the route page when possible; notice a window in the upper part with “Acquiring GPS”. Window stays for a while than disappears and a new window “Poor GPS” pops up for 1-2 seconds before it disappears. Furthermore not any other notification on the route page. Move to the elevation data field and see no elevation. Return to the route page, no notification. Repeat this several times. No change. Takes about 5 minutes before I get an elevation.

  12. Ross

    Do you think they will update the roam in the next year to add a newer colour screen?

  13. Ian T

    Yesterday evening, to avoid any delay, stood still in the middle of a garden, letting my replacement Bolt acquire GPS for the next morning’s prompt start: link to youtu.be

    Next day’s ride was 77km at 20kph which the Bolt decided was 160km at 40kph – I wish!

    • Wahoo true support

      Thanks Ian, that’s the information none of YouTube famous reviewers would openly give as either most of them are on Wahoo payroll or apparently afraid to loose free samples delivery from Wahoo. All of them are saying how nice and simple the new bolt, forgetting to tell about “minor GPS” problems.

    • I’m not sure if I’m supposedly a “YouTube famous reviewer”, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been pretty clear in this post about where I stood with the BOLT V2 at time of launch (both in this post and my video at the time), and working to make it more clear as to where I think it stands now, in a final in-depth review shortly.

    • Mak

      Thanks Ray. You have always been objective in your reviews and appreciate that. Can’t wait for your review, have been holding off getting the V2 bolt pending your final views!

    • I’ve also been holding off getting the new Bolt until Ray’s final review. I was almost ready to overlook the routing problems Ray described (I don’t use routing much), but all the reports of GPS and temperature issues made me think twice. Looking forward to Ray’s final judgement!

  14. Pawel

    I bought Bolt v2 hoping it will be excellent device. I compared it with my Edge 530 and can confirm that temperature reading is always 2 degrees Celsius higher than Edge. Garmin is spot on in this regard, very accurate. Elevation readings are higher as well, not very accurate. Now good thing is that GPS signal is acquired in 1 min, not longer. Track accuracy is not good, very often wrong side of road, wandering across buildings, in forest areas average quality, Edge is better. I had in the past Karoo2 and it was the best in terms of track accuracy. On map screen I can mute turn by turn directions but after a while if gets re-enabled by itself…I want to see map only with two fields at the top, I do not want these text fields with left/right etc. When I am not moving then map does not rotate even if I move by bike around 180 degrees…digital compass seems not to work, again Edge map is rotating as expected. I decided to return it, too many bugs for me.

    • Roland Klees

      @ Pavel: it is not really a surprise to see different experiences with the Bolt 2; likely variations in production and poor end control. For instance, my Bolt 2 works fine as far as GPS accuracy is concerned (comparable to Edge 530); height accuracy is fine with me, though a bit at the high end of the spectrum, but not really an issue. I can clearly see on the map whether I ride on the left or right side of the street (width about 5-6 m). Not any problem with TBT navigation or with the orientation of the map; simply works fine. The only issue that really concerns me is a problem which showed up since the last software update: frequently, the map and the chevrons disappear on the route page and only left the track as a black solid line. This seems to happen randomly, but is more than annoying as navigation functionality is very important to me. As I stlll had the opportunity to make use of the 30-day warranty, I decided to return the unit, but I am prepared to accept a new unit without this flaw. I like the unprecedented quality of the screen, the ease of use and the design of the unit; I like the limited amount of functionality as I do not really miss anything.

    • Pawel

      I agree that Wahoo screen is best, great visibility in all conditions. I ride mostly mtb trails so Garmin has climb pro and ability to put maps better suited to that type of riding. For road and gravel rider Bolt is very good. Personally Bolt 2 screen is little too small. 2.6 inch is perfect so Roam/Edge has advantage.

    • Roland K

      I use the Bolt 2 for mountainbiking (XC and marathons) and road racing (just for fun and making kilometres). Originally, I thought that 2.6″ is a must (I owned the original Wahoo Elemnt), but the Bolt 2 learned me that when the display is great and the font has been chosen carefully, 2.2″ is enough for my applications.

    • Pawel

      Hello Roland, I have a question regarding missing chevrons. Map shows unpaved road as solid black line, if riding it on planned route then black chevrons are overlaid and it does not look as good as riding paved road. Do you have same experience? Also if you happen to loose chevrons following a route then you cannot see your line to follow, correct?

    • Roland Klees

      Hi Pavel, I can’t say anything to your first question, sorry. However, as far as your second question is concerned, I see the line to follow, but without any map or chevrons.

  15. Gwynn

    Latest update WA27-13539 appears to have GPS improvements.

    One thing that has not disappointed me about the Bolt V2 is that Wahoo are constantly improving the unit with regular updates, that was the main reason for going for the original Bolt, I saw that the Bolt 1 was/is constantly refined, and why I jumped in with the V2

    At the end of the day, mine is working great, love the screen, and the rerouting has helped me a few times with closed roads or when I’ve missed a turn, I’ve just stopped looking at the temperature field 😂

    • Roland K

      Update has no influence on long it takes to get a good GPS fix (based on number in elevation data field). As usual, not clear what the update really improves as Wahoo does not communicate any details.

    • Pawel

      I agree, elevation number is coming very slow in Bolt v2 after update. I have accuracy field at 8-20m usually. My old etrex 32x has almost always 3m and 6-7m in forest canyon…much better.

    • Roland K

      Elevation accuracy is fine in my case, just a few meters off. It’s the time it takes to get an elevation that is pretty long; in my case about 5 minutes. Don’t know whether that may be caused by the fact that old GPS satellite positions are not stored on the unit to speed up getting a fix next time.

    • Gwynn

      I’m comfortable that the gps tracking and elevation are as accurate if not better than my V1, the time it takes to initialise the gps is annoying sometimes but I’ve got into the habit of booting the Bolt before checking my tyre pressures 🙂 the temperature reading just simply need calibration. The pros outweigh the cons in my situation, but if you are using in tree/building covered areas a speed sensor is recommended for accuracy on any gps unit.

    • Rob Stephenson

      Hi Gwynn,
      I ride a Strava live segment which is off-road and under tree cover. My old Bolt V1 had no problem tracking this segment. The new Bolt V2 was completely useless and lost the track within a few hundred metres of starting. I tried 2 new units but both failed so I eventually gave up. I’m just interested to know if adding a speed sensor would solve the problem or do Strava Live Segments also rely on GPS?
      Thanks

    • Gwynn

      I’ve seen speed readings on bolt bolts without a speed sensor both under and over, steady riding yet fluctuating +/- 2 to 3 mph, sometimes jumping from about 30mph to 45-50mph is a very short space with acceleration a Tesla would be proud of, these are generally tree lined routes.
      Very short segments are notorious for being inaccurate, if a gps fix is just a second or two late at point a, then hits point b on time it’ll be a shorter/faster run.
      I’m guessing inaccuracy in the lateral position is reigned in by the underlying map, but the map can’t guess your speed, that said off road and tree cover the track could waver, it could look at ride history of yours and other riders I suppose, I’d trust a correctly configured wheel speed sensor over gps all day long, the wahoo can calibrate the wheel sensor as it goes.

  16. Pawel

    Hi All, can anyone confirm that Bolt v2 does not have electronic compass so it does not rotate map if stationary? I see on my rides that if I stop and track with chevrons is in front of me and then turn bike 90 degrees left or right the track to follow is still in front of me so completely wrong direction. I read on reddit that it works only when moving as direction is takem from gps only.

  17. Alan W.

    So, after a couple of months using my Edge 830, which behaves perfectly but the Garmin app and menu driven use are horrible, I thought I’d fire up my Bolt2, update the firmware and see how much has changed. Nothing much.

    The latest release notes say GPS improvements, but that should really be ‘hide GPS deficiencies’. I say that because although the ‘Acquiring GPS’ and ‘Poor GPS’ labels on the map now disappear much faster, when you watch the GPS Accuracy field it still sits at over 30 (imperial units, so feet I guess) for ages and the elevation also still takes minutes (over 5 usually) to display. Seems all they’ve done is shift the limits for displaying the map labels to fool us dumb users.

    Its so disappointing because the Wahoo app is super easy to use, so is the unit, and I prefer the display to my 830, the new buttons are great, and the LEDs a big improvement. But its a GPS unit, and I was expecting, if anything, an improvement over the Bolt1 in that regard, which it definitely is not. Same for temperature, which is still useless, though of course far less important.

    I’ve been using GPS units since 2006, and I don’t remember ever being more disappointed with a new/update release of an existing model.

    • Roland K

      @ Alan: I can confirm your observations. Yesterday, I compared the start-up time of my original Elemnt with that of the Bolt 2 and it appears since the last firmware update both are comparable. However, ‘start-up time’ was just measured as the time it takes the unit to show the main data page from power on. It still takes the Bolt 2 about 5 minutes to get the first elevation reading. However, this is not a deal breaker to me as I can easily adapt to this situation.
      My unit will be picked up on Wednesday by UPS due to the navigation page problems (map & chevrons disappear randomly when pushing ‘start’). However, I will buy a new Bolt 2 when start preparing for the season 2022. There is no real alternative to me on the market yet. Edge 530 could be if they solve the re-routing issue (I did 12 different re-routing tests over several days from easy to tricky and the Edge 530 did not even pass one of them). Edge 1030 too big & Kahoo 2 too big and with its own issues; Sigma Rox 11.1 evo with a too small display and a rediculuous navigation functionality etc. It would be so easy to make an almost perfect unit by combining the strong points of Edge 530 with those of Bolt 2.

    • I’d be curious to understand the re-routing tests, or rather, why a dozen different tests are failing on the Edge 530. While there are always edge cases in re-routing on pretty much every device in the market, I simply haven’t heard of major re-routing failures of that magnitude on really any device.

      Thus, that sounds like there may be something else at play if it’s failing ‘easy’ ones too (perhaps course/route design/etc…).

    • Roland K

      If you are interested I can send you more details. But this requires some sketches to be made and for an example of a tricky case the gpx file. I can prepare the material and send it to you by email. Let me know.

    • Roland K

      A snapshot of one of the easy re-routing tests. Route planned with Komoot app. The planned route is shown in blue with start A and finish B. Intentionally, I turned left at C. Edge 530 never managed to get me to B. A few times, Edge 530 did not give me a new route before I approached D (I rode slowly, about 8-10 km/h). If it did, it sent me always back to A via D and E. Bolt 2 always sent me to B via D-F-G, which is the shortest route; always provided re-routing before I approached D.

    • Pawel

      I agree, Edge 530 is useless at re-routing. I turned it off.

    • That seems like a hyper-basic route though. Is there something about those streets in terms of how they’re marked in OSM as a slate of one-way streets or something? Though in theory, Wahoo uses the same underlying OSM dataset in most places.

      I don’t doubt what you’re saying, but I’ve never seen anyone say any of the units these days fail tests like that. I’ve got countless tests similar to that where I easily force re-routes and it handles it without issue.

      Was it that it couldn’t recalculate the route, or that it never tried?

      Most failures I see these days are specific to too many options (e.g. overpopulance of bicycle paths in the Netherlands), but even then, the Bolt V2 with recent firmware doesn’t have an issue – nor does the Edge 530/830/1030/Plus series.

  18. Roland K

    Nothing wrong with the streets; all two-way. Edge 530 re-calculated the routes, but sometimes took quite some time and the new routes always pointed me back to the start. I also tested passing point D towards F, just trying to figure out whether the Edge 530 changes “his mind”, but always routed me back to the start. I thought that maybe something was wrong with the unit, but I used the latest firmware update (i.e., no software issue); moreover, I can’t imagine a hardware issue causing this behaviour.

  19. Iconz

    Hi DC –

    Great review in progress.
    Any view on when your final review of the Bolt V2 will become available?

  20. Steve

    Re-routing on the Bolt2 issues
    I have posted regarding this before, but more recent experiences have left me frustrated with the rerouting on the Bolt 2.
    The re routing seems determined to take you back to where you left the route no matter what. I have been in Mallorca for a while and one good example would be a day I had a long route programmed in, I deliberately went off route to take a shortcut of a few miles, whilst off route the Bolt2 kept trying to send me back to where I left the route rather than the logical place to re-join, I mean why take you back 5 miles when you are only 1 mile from the continuation of the route? If that is not frustrating enough when I actually rejoined the route further up the road I still had the blue chevrons of rerouting and it still kept telling me to turn around and go back and this continued for a few miles even directing me to go where there was no surfaced road until I passed through a tunnel and went over the other side of the mountain and then the chevrons finally turned black and things returned to normal.

    • Michel

      I had the exact same experience, also in Mallorca mid-September. I was on a 90km route with a friend and he had a mechanical issue after 30km, we went off track to find a bike shop. When his bike was ok we went back to our track but from that moment on the Bolt v2 kept on beeping telling me to turn around although we were back on the track… it continued trying to re-route me to this point when we left the route until we crossed this point on our way back 40km later. Since then there had been several firmware updates but I didn’t face similar situation so I am not sure the issue still exists. Other than that I am very satisfied with the Bolt v2.

    • Steve

      Michel
      Interesting to hear you have had the same experience. Although I have not had it attempting to re-route me even though I am back on the route prior to this I have had many illogical re-routing incidents, sat-nav’s in cars seem to manage okay most of the time so why not the Wahoo?
      I do agree that for the most part I am very happy with the Bolt2 though do have one (less important) issue.

      Even though I have disabled the option to “Show other users my location…..” I continue to see other riders on my map screen. I wonder if anyone else gets this?

  21. Andrew

    Hello, will you be posting a long term review of the unit soon? I tried to find one but no luck… 🙂

    • spidercrab

      You know something is not right when the original review (which was on May 25) mentioned an update within 2 weeks, still is not available after 5 months! I read into that the the Bolt2 still isn’t fixed enough for @Ray to complete a positive review that would make the Bolt2 look good.

      My own Bolt2 is also not fixed enough to consider working as advertised. I can use it, but if I knew Wahoo could not fix it in 5 months, I would never have bought it. I can only assume that Wahoo are developing a new working under the radar version of the Bolt2.

      Hey Ray, are those Wahoo engineers still outside your house? Wahoo need to get this sorted even if it’s just for the health and wellbeing of those poor engineers.

    • Pawel

      I agree fully with Andrew and others, where is final review Ray? Wait time is very, very long…

    • Scottfa

      I have never seen another “Review in progress “. I thought that when a product was released it was reviewed according to Ray. This just seems really weird. Why not have a final review and then an update 5 months later? Ray’s pristine reputation has taken a small hit in my book. I just don’t get it.

    • I’m looking forward to getting a final review out, but as is life, plenty of other newer products end up in the to-do queue, and having to circle back every 2 weeks when Wahoo says they’ve fixed something sets it back.

      The entire point of the ‘review in profess’ I thought was super clear: This product wasn’t ready at time of launch. Not even close.

      Ultimately, it mostly works for me these days. That is, until it doesn’t. Some rides are perfectly fine, and then others fail to do the things it’s supposed to do.

      And one only need to read the comments from plenty of others here to see that’s roughly the pattern for a lot of people.

      My review will basically just say that.

    • Andrew

      Thank you for your response, Ray! Given that the reason for the lack of update is a literal lack of update, aside from the occasional improvements but not warranting a full review suffices for me! Looking forward to the final review whenever it comes!

    • Alan W.

      I think that pretty well sums it up for the new Bolt. Its OK, has a great screen, buttons, and LEDs (if you use them), and it works fairly well most of the time. But the GPS and temperature sensor are absolutely not an improvement (they are both demonstrably worse) compared to my original Bolt or even my original Elemnt. The only thing thats been noticeably fixed from my point of view is the altitude – its still slow to register at startup, but the values are now consistent with my other devices and maps. Not sure I can see much more additional progress to add to the original review.

    • Spidercrab

      So nearly 1 year on, my Bolt2 is still not fixed. It has been a rollercoasterjournet of attempted fixes that sort of fix one thing but break something else.

      Here’s whats still not working correctly:

      1. Battery % is still unreliable and will drop to 90% in 10 minutes. This gets improved and then messed up after FW botches.
      2. The IOS App has never completed a single ride where I tap the App and after my ride, and my ride data gets updated to Strava. This is an absolute basic requirement, so why can’t Wahoo get this fixed. Every ride is still a routine of shutting the App down and starting it up again 2 or 3 times. Strava will not complete the update untill I select it and tap on the “processing” message.
      3. IOS notifications get fixed and broken regularly. Currenty, only Calls appear on the Bolt2. Texts used to but unfortunately no more.
      4. Tempereture is now 5C BELOW what it should be! It started off at 5C HIGH gor about 9 months.
      5. Initial boot up find my elevation is just poor. My elevation is 28m and it will vary from 11m to 48m and whever it starts off at, it doesnt seem to adjust itself.
      6. Battery socket is still nowhere as solid as it should be and the charging cable plus is not a solid fit.
      7. I have given up on the navigation features and still find the maps to be something you would see on a Tamagotchi screen.
      Not impressed with Wahoo.

  22. Rob Stephenson

    I just can’t believe how long this issue has been going on with no official comments from Wahoo. A simple admittance of the issue and a “we’re sorting it” might just prevent users from giving up and switching to another manufacturer. Instead they continue to send out faulty units (I gave up after the third one). This nothing other than really poor customer service from Wahoo.

    • Steve

      I’m not sure what issue you are referring to. Personally, it’s come a long way since launch. The only issue that bothers me a bit are the ever so slightly (like a few seconds) delayed GPS relays for Strava segments. I’ve found that speed, GPS accuracy and routing have worked good enough for me. So yea, not perfect, but what is?

    • Rob Stephenson

      My issue is the poor GPS reception. I regularly ride a twisty circuit which is partially under tree cover, I use the Strava Live Segment to “race” my previous efforts. My old Bolt V1 never failed to track this segment. The new Bolt (I have tested 3 units) failed on every occasion to track the segment.

      Are you saying that if I buy another unit now which has “come a long way since launch” it will function properly? If not then my original post is entirely valid.

    • Steve

      Rob,
      The SW has improved. If you have issues with GPS tracking, that’s probably HW related. I obviously cannot vouch for your particular unit. I do not have tracking issues with my unit at all. I do not generally travel in heavily wooded areas though. Have you reached out to their support? Apologies for not referencing your original post.

  23. Global Nomad

    Hi, having moved over to a bolt v2 after years on a garmin 530, i’m just wondering about using the lap function – there doesnt seem to be a lap function by location/gps…seems only to be for time or distance which isnt helpful when trying to compare lap speed or average power on a repeated loop. do i have to physically press the button each time i start a new lap …??

    • Roland K

      Yes, but what is the problem? It’s more accurate then when doing it automatically based on your GPS coordinates.

    • global nomad

      so if i’m doing 3 minute or 8 minute laps on different loops as well as focusing on keeping my power steady i need to remember to press the lap button on the same point…..that seems uneccessary or i have to check and set the lap distance for each different loop and set it on my phone before i can use the distance auto lap?

    • Roland K

      Yes, indeed. Or by an Edge 530 (again).

    • V

      Simply GPS accuracy on Bolt is so bad it doesn’t know when the lap is done, like with 30m delay on turns.

    • global nomad

      thanks for the replies…i have noted the gps issues but don’t think they are as bad as on my old 530…still not good enough in cities with the delay…

    • Alan W.

      Not much hope of getting what you want from Wahoo I’m afraid. We first started asking for lap position by GPS marker in the original beta group for the Elemnt in 2016. In the early days no less than Chip Hawkins said it was in the pipeline – but it never has arrived, and I suspect we’ve all given up with the request by now, as its clearly never going to happen. As mentioned by Roland, its been available on Garmin units for many, many years.

    • Global Nomad

      Thanks Alan for filling in the background…happy with so many other things on the Bolt, it seems a shame to let a few niggles get to me.

  24. Sven

    Is there any truth to the rumors that some chargers, particularly high end ones from a reputable brand, are bricking the Bolt v2 via USB-C? If true, that sounds like a hardware issue. Do you have any insight into this?

    • I don’t think I’ve heard reports of bricking any units (meaning, killing them).

      However, it is true that some chargers simply don’t work with it. I don’t know if they’ve tweaked the design since release to resolve that.

    • Roland K

      I tried to charge an original elemnt with a fast charger from my Samsung A52 cell phone and it simply did not charge at all. Did not take the risk to do the same with my bolt v2, but honestly, I would recommend not doing this.

    • The original ELEMNT didn’t have USB-C though (and thus no fast charging).

    • spidercrab

      I’m not convinced that the Bolt2 supports fast charging or the USB-C charging port is fully implemented.

      The vague statement from Wahoo “Avoid using Apple brand AC charging adapters” is not only too vague to be any use but it alludes to something not workinging as expected. The new Apple fast chargers don’t have a USB-A socket, so Wahoo can’t be referring to these because the Bolt2 cable can’t be plugged into them. The Apple iPad charger with USB-A do work fine but of course are not fast charge. I suspect that Wahoo really mean that you MUST use the Bolt2 cable (USB-A to USB-C).

      I have tried quite a few Anker fast chargers, some with USB-A and some with USB-C connectors and none of them will fast charge the Bolt2 as I was expecting them to do. These all correctly fast charge an iPhone12.

      So I think the Bolt2 charging socket is just a USB-C connector which is a very good thing, but it doesn’t do fast charging.

      Also, the Bolt2 does not disconnect electrically from a charger when it reaches 100% of charge, and the battery charge will seep away over a day to about 60%. I did report this to Wahoo over 5 months ago but was told to keep applying updates. This I have done and nothing has changed. This is one of the worst issues with the Bolt2 because it can delay or postpone a ride.

    • Higli

      In May when the Bolt v2 was released my v2 wouldn’t charge on my hp USB-C 65W notebook charger. Now it does charge on it. Strange enough it doesn’t show the “charging battery symbol” when switched on. Switched off it shows the usual charging animation.

      The charging speed is normal on the 65W charger, but that’s no problem for me. It also does not drain away from 100% when finished. It just stays there.

    • Roland K

      I used an adaoter form usb c to usb.

    • Sven

      Thanks for your reply. To be clear, my question was entirely based on hearsay. Although it is less than ideal that there seems to be some sort of charging issue, it’s good to see that you’re not aware of any usb-c “bricking problem”.

    • MJ

      That whole situation sounds a bit like the Polar OH1.
      If charged with a quick charge USB it often doesn’t charge but turns on instead (usually with a few minutes delay). It works with the iPhone charger, though.

  25. Roland K

    Wahoo Bolt 2 has become more expensive in Europe: 279.99 -> 299.99. They appear to be very confident about the product and its position on the market. Not really competitive when looking at the recent sales of the Garmin Edge 530 (about 234.- Euro on Amazon in Europe).

  26. JF

    Anybody knows if it’s possible to control what power source is used for the power fields in an ELEMNT connected to both a power meter and a home trainer?

    By default it seems to ignore the power meter if there is a trainer connected, which is a problem when the power given by the trainer is inaccurate (usually the case for wheel-on friction turbos). So I’ve had to disconnect the home trainer, which is a shame because the FE-C trainer control from the Bolt was a nice feature.

    Then the next question would be if the power meter can be used to drive the resistance of the turbo in ERG mode, but that’s the next level and I’m quite sure this is a no. But I’d be OK with just not getting power readings messed up with.

    FWIW I’ve been asking this to Wahoo support but it must be said it’s been a very painful experience (again). Generally speaking I don’t have major issues with the Bolt, unlike others here, but their support really is abismal. When they don’t seem to even read the requests/questions before answering, their platitudes about “providing a good experience to everybody” and “passing this on to developers” feel downright insulting. End of rant.

  27. Chr

    Is the jury still out on this unit – or has Wahoo managed to fix the issues?

    • Jeff

      It depends on what is important to you. If you are a KOM Hunter/Slayer, then IMHO, the GPS accuracy is not there – when compared to v1 Bolt. The best I’ve seen the Bolt v2 self report accuracy is 15-16, whereas the v1 Bolt self-reported accuracy is generally 3-7. At least here, in the USA-Seattle area. Like all GPS units, it works best when a clear, unobstructed view of the horizon is available. Trees, buildings, etc. reduce accuracy.

      Accuracy can be improved somewhat (speed & distance) by using a wheel speed sensor.

      Some riders don’t like that the temp sensor is not accurate.

      Most other problems have been corrected in the many different updates released since the v2 came out.

      Overall, it is a nice unit. There is an improvement in the screen detail, visibility. The color is a nice addition.

      Whether is is worth the cost of upgrading…? Honestly, it is not what I wanted to see as a v2 to the original Bolt.

    • Pop

      If you are a kom hunter then do you want gps accuracy? Lack of accuracy gives you a 50/50 shot of improving your time, no?

    • robert stephenson

      But the poor accuracy means Strava live segments just don’t work. I’ve tried 3 units and all failed where my old Bolt tracked perfectly. I asked Wahoo if they had sorted the problems, I got a reply which basically said “no”.

    • Jeff Ott

      Ha ha ha! Half full? Half empty?! I like the way you think!!

    • Jeff

      Well… I suppose like so many other things, “it depends.” I’ve never had an issue about a segment itself. I’ve been alerted about all my starred segments. Just not my KOM timing due to it’s not being accurate of location. I ride roads and fair sky coverage. If a segment was a trail, in buildings, trees or full of other obstructions, then I absolutely see where the v2 would have issues.

      Again. Depending on one’s use and needs… the v2 is passable… or a complete miss as these hundreds of replies indicate.

      Overall… Personally, I am $350USD disappointed and expected more out of Wahoo who appear put more resources into their training ‘Systm’ and Rival watch than making sure the Bolt v2 was properly designed and released.

    • Rick Tan

      Too bad you cannot get a Bolt V1 refurbished with a new battery.

    • Magnus

      Is it still not fixed?

  28. Anthony

    Hello. Did the issues you have get fixed? It was quite a while ago now. Regards.

  29. Ian T

    GP Llama has posted a YT video that shows the latest firmware update 13917 speeds up screen switching. Maybe quicker rendering frees up processing capacity for GPS issues?

  30. Roland K

    After I returned my first Bolt v2 because of randomly disappearing maps (GPS was fine, TBT was fine, re-routing was fine, ascent/descent was fine, temperature was a few degrees celsius to high, but I did not care), I ordered a new unit a few months later. I tested this unit and found that GPS was ok (a bit worse compared with the previous Bolt v2), re-routing, ascent/descent and temperature were fine. However, TBT notification (beep) always came too late by about 2 seconds (i.e., 2 seconds after I had to make the turn). As the same time, the distance to the turn shown on the display was also wrong by about 20-25 meters (i.e., according to the display the turn was 20-25 m in front of me, but I had to take the turn already). I asked Wahoo support for advice. They asked me to remove and reinstall all maps and try it again. I did this, but found that nothing had changed. Extremely annoying when riding off road (what I mostly do), maybe not that annoying when riding on road. It is frustrating to see that different units of the same product work that differently (no quality control?) Obviously, you need to have good luck to get a unit which works flawlessly. I will return this unit again. I asked Wahoo when they expect to have solved the late TBT notifications (on diverse forums people report the same problem, i.e., I am not the only one) and depending on their answer I will decide whether I order a third unit or switch to a Garmin Edge 530 (though re-routing on the Edge 530 unit which I tested some months ago did not work at all). But in time TBT notification is more important to me than re-routing.

  31. Roland K

    Wahoo support says that the route planner has to be blamed for the problems with the TBT notification. Strange enough, the issue persists when planning the route with Strava (instead of Komoot, which I routinely use) or RideWithGPS. That tells me that it is definitely not the route planner to be blamed.
    In the meanwhile I believe that the Bolt v2 does not generate an acoustic signal (“beep”) immediately before the turn. I believe that the only acoustic/visual notification is about 250 m before the turn. In the window which then opens, you see the distance to the turn decreasing until you approach the turn. After the turn, you receive another acoustic/visual notification showing the distance to the next turn. The background color of the window is white if the next turn is more than about 250 m away (then, the window is closed after a few seconds and opens up again about 250 m before the turn); otherwise it is green (as usual). That is a least my understanding.
    I wonder if anyone can confirm this or tell differently.

  32. Rob Stephenson

    Having returned three Bolt V2’s back in May/June due to very poor GPS issues, I decided to try again having heard the newer units had better GPS performance. Unfortunately Wahoo have done something with the new phone app which crashes the app when I authorise my Ride with GPS account. Wahoo have acknowledged the problem and are “working on a fix”. As I use RWGPS for all of my route planning I had no alternative to return Bolt number 4. I have lost all faith in Wahoo’s ability to produce reliable products and associated software. Looks like they have forced me to go back to Garmin which is something I said I would never do having had 5 years of using the original Bolt.

    • Roland K

      I had no issues with authorizing RideWithGPS. As I said, Bolt v2 seems to be very unreliable which points to a very poor quality control. I suggest to wait for the Edge 530 successor, which I expect will be launched very soon; even Garmin reduced the price to 249.- Euro from originally 299.- Euro. All other shops also offer the unit to a significantly reduced price with the top sale on Amazon.de during Black Friday of 159.- Euro.

  33. Roland K

    Wahoo asked me to do a factory reset as the last idea of fixing the problem. I did and to my surprise the TBT problem has become much more worse!!!

    Before the factory reset, one problem was that the distance to the turn shown on the screen was always too long, by about 20-25 m. After the factory reset, the distance is too long by 30-80 m, which is definitely too much. After the factory reset, I also noticed significant GPS errors, which may point to a GPS problem as the real source of problems.

    I asked Wahoo to prepare the return, but want to give another Bolt v2 a last try, which then will be the third device I order. If this device will appear to not working flawlessly, I will definitely stop with Wahoo without knowing at the moment what product I will order.

    Very disappointed. What a shame for a device which such a high potential.

    • Mateo

      Factory reset clears the satellites cache, which initially may lead to bigger errors. You may try leaving the unit switched on for an hour with a good sky view, and see if it changes the accuracy.

    • Roland K

      Matteo Thanks a lot for your suggestion. I did a 90 min ride today and after that the test route I rode yesterday. Unfortunately, the issue persists. I do not understand at all what is going on here. In particular, I do not understand why after the factory reset things became even worse. I would expect that the issue stays the same, but getting worse? The only difference to the situation before the factory reset is that my speed sensor was not paired. But the device should be able to navigate properly without a speed sensor.

    • Roland K

      By the way, during the 90 min ride, I also used my old original Elemnt also without speed sensor. Total distance is the same to within 40 m. Moreover when I overlay the two records in GPXSee the recorded track fits the map and fit perfectly to within 1-2meters. From that I conclude that the GPS accuracy of the Bolt v2 cannot be the cause of the TBT issues. However, the processed GPS position seems to lack behind reality (i.e., processing takes too much time). Hard to believe, but that is the only explanation I have.

    • Spidercrab

      Usually a factory reset takes the fimerware (FW) and memory back to the initial version that was shipped with or before the device left the factory. So that could explain why your Bolt2 is behaving badly. Make sure you check for and install any FW updates and repeat untill it’s up to date.

      My experiencewith my Bolt2 bought when released, has been that each FW update has improved something but introduces some other undesirable issue. Wahoo just can’t seem to get it right after repeated updates.

    • Roland K

      I am on the latest firmware.

    • Emidio Sabatini

      New update available! Finger crossed…..here the 20mt offset problem…

    • Ian T

      Before this morning’s ride, I updated to ROAM WR20/WD10-14048 on my Roam a replacement for two Bolt 2.

      The GPS track was again flaky on latter part of a 70km ride. Accuracy seems to tire towards the end.

      Red is mainly the old Bolt 1 heatmap. Grey is today.

      The GPS drifted off in a straight line at constant speed around km 40 for half a kilometre perpendicular to the road before recovering and getting back on track. But it went awry again between 48 and 68km (part shown).

      I coasted past an anticipated turn at km 52 because of heay lag and a mapped location 50m off the road.

      At least it is no longer crashing or giving dodgy speeds but you can see it is still not at pre-May 2021 GPS quality.

  34. Roland K

    Update: I had already requested a refund for my Bolt v2 due to the TBT problems after a factory reset Wahoo suggested. Knowing that after the factory reset the TBT have become even worse, I gave it a try and did another factory reset. Before doing that I removed all maps. After the factory reset, I installed only the map I needed. Big surprise: that solved the TBT problem. Now, the position cursor (triangle) is almost spot on the turn when I approach it. Before, the cursor was about 50-90 m before the turn when I approached it.
    Therefore, I cancelled the return and decided to keep the unit. Very happy with that. Cross my fingers that I do not need another factory reset which could change the game again.

  35. bigblue

    What’s going on with this saga ? My simple Garmin now has a bad battery, and a friend recommended the Bolt, which, whilst overkill for my data needs, has navigation, which is an attractive option. But … it seems the v2 doesn’t work well. Is it actually a hardware issue or software ? Where’s the final fix (and final review !) ? Or, when, if ever, will things be ironed out ? If turn by turn doesn’t work well it’s pointless for me and I’ll buy something else.

    • Rob Stephenson

      I’ve had four Bolt V2’s now and all returned (3 due to terrible GPS performance). I would really like someone to confirm if this is a hardware or firmware issue. I beginning to think that Wahoo have used cheap/inferior GPS chips. Luckily my old Bolt V1 is still performing perfectly despite a damaged screen.

    • David W

      I have lost a lost of faith in Wahoo. I have had three TICKR2 HR straps that all went back due Bluetooth dropouts, a BoltV2 went back due to poor Bluetooth and GPS, and, finally, my Kickr Bike went back due to the frame breaking. The replacement didn’t work at all (overheated in the first 2 minutes) right out of the box. The second replacement seems ok so far, I had two original Bolts get replaced due to screen failures. I have to say that the customer service was great but the hardware and software is not good. Some simple things (at least simple for everyone else) took years of complaining to get implemented (Varia radar) and some still haven’t been implemented (lights). I have a Garmin 1030 which has worked fine except that I have trouble reading the screen. My current favorite in the Hammerhead Karoo2. I’ve had it for a year and had no problems. And there have been software updates about every two weeks. For me, it just works. Like any product others have had problems or had a feature critical to them missing but not me.

    • Dave

      Given it’s been almost a year since the v2 was released, the fact that wahoo haven’t fixed the issues would suggest they can’t be, or are extremely complicated.
      Can’t help but think they are devoted focus on the refresh of the roam and other products.

      For me, I’m done with wahoo. The original bolt was great but I’ve tried 3 of the v2 and each one has been returned, I am also on my third kickr (2018 model but bought in late 2019) which has just started to play up with Bluetooth not working anymore and vibration and noise coming from it. Wahoo have refused warranty repair as it’s now outside of the initial 2 years. For such expensive products you would expect them to last longer.

      A few years ago I vowed never to go back to garmin but I think that’s looking the most likely option now.

    • Adam

      The GPS performance for my use case is adequate. However, every other release seems to be breaking random stuff. The last update caused reboot loops if Strava sync is enabled for some people. The one before that completely broke the map page if you loaded a route. Etc.

      Wahoo just pumps out release after release, without any testing it seems. Their software team is either burnt out and actively sabotaging management, or they are completely clueless.

    • Jeff OTt

      Or… it is all outsourced to the lowest bidder… while their in-house programmers are engaged on new product development.

    • bigblue

      Don’t they write regression tests (or is that too hard) ?

      Anyway, V1’s are available on amazon for 2/3 the price of V2’s, so what do you lose in the navigation stakes ? As I understand it, you still get maps and turn-by-turn on a V1, though not re-routing. Are these “dumb maps” reliable enough to navigate by and follow a route ?

      If so, maybe the cheaper, more reliable, though slightly less feature rich V1 isn’t a bad bet at all.

  36. Alan W.

    I don’t use navigation much and find that the Bolt2 is ‘OK’ for my training needs and gives summary data very close to my Edge 830 in all respects. The GPS performance of both my original Element and Bolt was better for sure, but I really like the coloured zone HR/Power fields, the new buttons, and the screen.

    But I remain exasperated with Wahoo Support. Since my first Elemnt in 2016 I’ve been moaning that it is impossible to delete saved activities on the device itself, so if you do a quick test or accidentally start an activity and don’t notice you won’t be able to delete it. Although you can delete it from the Elemnt app, it is only marked as deleted in the Wahoo Cloud, not fully deleted, so if you use an app like RunGap which uses the Wahoo API the deleted activities will still be downloaded (the API doesn’t allow the identification of those marked as deleted). The only way to get rid of unwanted activities is to delete everything by a factory reset on the device and then to delete and recreate your Wahoo account (which has taken me about 3 weeks and many emails to Wahoo ‘Support’ to achieve).

    I’ve plenty of similar awful exchanges with Wahoo Support. They say their support is second to none – but what they mean by that I suspect is that the response time is quite quick, which I admit it is. But the quality of their responses is awful in my experience – especially to experienced users (who often know more than they do).

    • Ric

      Agree. Unless the issue requires a replacement unit their support is pretty useless. Don’t know why people say positive things about it, I suspect it is in those replacement cases that generates the positive comments.

    • Hameed Bhatti

      Hi Alan, if your requirements were both navigation and data, would you choose the Edge 830 over a Bolt 2?

      I inherited a Bolt 1 from my son and am torn between selling it (vs. keeping it) and getting the Edge 830 (for the on-device navigation re-routing, color screen, and bigger screen for my “older” eyes).

      What do you think?

      TIA!

    • Alan W.

      Hameed, I have used both for navigation when away from home. For TBT, the Edge 830 or 530 every time, I’ve found them extremely reliable, whereas the Bolt has a couple of times tried to turn me right instead of left and its generally less reliable at getting the prompts up at appropriate distances.

      But…
      My most frequent type of navigation is to just have the route overlaid on the map, without full TBT. For that purpose (and its partly why I use the Bolt2 mostly) the Bolt chevron trail is very much easier to follow than the trail with white arrows on the Edge.

      Hope that helps, its just my opinion though.

    • Hameed Bhatti

      Thanks Alan! It definitely helps!

      What does TBT stand for? Can you tell I’m a bike noob?

    • Alan W.

      TBT is Turn By Turn, Hameed – the device overlays messages on your screen telling you how far ahead the next turn is, etc. 😊

    • Hameed Bhatti

      Thanks!!

      I’ll stick with the Bolt v1 I have for a bit and see how I like it and revisit this in a couple of months.

    • KevinC

      I thought that same thing. My Bolt2 has been sitting in a drawer for about 6 months. Took it out and updated to the newest firmware the other day. Still having very regular power (Stages Gen3) and HR (TICKR) drop-outs that require a full re-start to re-pair the sensors. Both report being connected via BTLE. I’m wondering if it’s possible to force ANT+ pairing? Both power meter and HR strap are 100% reliable with my OG Bolt.

  37. Beau Ellis

    Still waiting on an update of this review. Torn. I want to want to the Bolt but am hesitant.

    • Alan W.

      I can’t imagine an update would add much to these many comments, Beau. Its a difficult one for prospective purchasers, who should certainly consider Garmin or Karoo in my opinion.

      But for me and many others the nice things about the Bolt2 (better screen, buttons, colour zone fields, colour maps, ease of setup and connectivity) just about outweigh the main disadvantage of poorer GPS performance compared with earlier models and the Garmin/Karoo devices. Strava segment users and TBT navigation users are, I think, those most likely to notice the GPS performance issue.

  38. James

    Another nit to pick. Battery level display cuts off left SRAM shifter status and doesn’t scroll down. This is an “open ticket” item with Wahoo.

    • Wahoo ex-supporter

      Almost a year passed since the release of Wahoo Bolt 2 and still no fix for poor GPS reception and delayed TBT. Such a waste. Garmin Edge 530/830 still a better choice. Waiting for Edge 540/840 release to switch over.

    • Ian T

      Travelling east to west yesterday on my route yesterday, I temporarily lost GPS and, as shown, it took some time to recover.

      Checking Google Maps there is no issue with overhead visibility: link to goo.gl

    • Ian T

      Corrected Image:

    • Ian T

      Checking back on my action camera, I was passed by a pair of riders coming in the opposite direction (cropped to respect their privacy) at the point of GPS disruption.

  39. Dave

    Ray, i know you can’t give too much away but there is so much speculation on forums that there will be refreshed lines of bike gps computers this year from the major players (garmin, wahoo, possibly even karoo) can you say if you have heard anything concrete that there will be?

    Also, I saw that bryton released a new gps last week, the rider s500. I know you don’t tend to review bryton products but just wondering if you are likely to get hold of the s500 as your reviews are far more accurate than others.

    Thanks

    • Yup, I’ve had an S500 for a bit, but got it updated on the final firmware last week to see how things handled and gave it a whirl with that firmware on Friday. I’ve got a post that’s almost finished for either Monday or Tuesday, outlining my thoughts there.

      TLDR: It’s just…rough. From countless poor/bad user interface things (that I’ll show with photos), to trying to re-route me onto doing an entire loop again, to just being oddly priced, I’d give it a pass.

    • Dave

      Thanks Ray.

      Will read your review on it when published and continue to hold out hope that the rumours are true and more new gps computers are coming in the months ahead.

  40. chris

    THis is such a shame, My original Wahoo bolt. which i loved, has now developed issues showing incorrect Heart Rate, after strap changes, and other device checks, it is time to replace. I bought a garmin 530, and out of the box, it had a GPS issues. ( none) but the buttons and lack of simple use, well its just gone back. so now what do i buy? looking at stages, that seemed to look ok, but the web sync portal looks a bit 2002, and not sure its quite modern. I wish apple would do a head unit, but everything else on the market looks pretty avg at best.. is wahoo just a no go now?

    • Rob Stephenson

      Not sure if you are in the UK but there is a guy selling new Bolt V1’s on ebay for £120 incl shipping. I purchased last week and 100% perfect. I’ve had 4 failed Bolt V2’s and have given up. I only replaced as the screen had developed issues on my original Bolt.
      I refuse to spend any more time “testing” what is clearly a flawed product.

    • Pawel

      I have Bolt v2 and returned it as well and replaced it with Edge 530. It was very good choice for me. Button feel is poor but once setup is over I do not really touch them during ride. For me climb pro is very important feature as I ride a lot in the mountains. GPS accuracy is good enough, not great but better than Bolt v2 I had. I am looking forward to Roam v2 as Wahoo ease of use and great screen are best among all GPS computers. And I hope Wahoo adds some sort of climb pro functionality.

    • Steve

      To be honest I would research other sites rather than just here before forming an opinion. I think those with issues come here looking for answers so it gives bias to negative opinion. I am not doubting those issues but suspect they are in the minority in reality. I am very satisfied with my Bolt 2 as are many thousands of others no doubt.

    • James

      I agree. I bought my V2 on release day and had some issues for the first few months. By September, updates had fixed my issues and I have no complaints. Buttons and visibility are nice improvements over V1.

    • Rob Stephenson

      I have tried 4 units, the last one just a few weeks ago. All were total failures. I tried every possible suggestion but the GPS accuracy was unacceptable. I’m guessing those with units which function correctly don’t ride in “clear sky” areas. The Bolt 2 just does not function in areas under slight tree cover where the Bolt 1 is perfect (tested side by side). I am suspecting an inferior GPS chip rather than firmware in which case my issue would never be solved.

    • Rob Stephenson

      Sorry, meant to say only ride in clear sky areas

    • Eelco

      Same here! Having used the original Bolt for a year or two, upgraded to the bolt v2 just after release. I am 98% satisfied and just have two complaints:

      -I cannot calibrate / zero offset my two Stages power meters. Didn’t have this problem on my Bolt v1. My 4iiii power meter doesn’t have this problem. Workaround: use Stages app for Android.
      -Temperature is +/-5 degrees C too high (not a big deal)

      However the first problem annoys me, no bike computer is perfect so I can live with it.

    • matthias coucke

      I have ridden with the bolt in very different terrain: cities, mountains, areas with bad phone reception,.. No issues since september. I have an early unit.

      Perhaps they use different set of chips?

  41. matthias coucke

    I agree, My Bolt V2 works excellent. Wahoo adressed all the issues with firmware updates. Only thing that I would like to get better now is a wahoo version of the climb pro (Garmin) or the similar climbing page of the Hammerhead.

    Wahoo states alle the info is in the Bolt itself, so should be easy to create, no?

  42. Roland K

    I am happy as well with the second Bolt v2. The only point of criticism is the GPS accuracy if no clear sky around. However, I notice this only when riding without speed sensor; then, the speed may drop instantaneously from, say, 30 km/hour, to 20 km/hour just because of a weak signal (though in reality speed is still 30 km/hour); this happens already if there are a few trees around though the horizon may be free of obstacles above, say, 30 deg elevation angle. Riding in the forrest without speed sensor is a no go.

  43. Spidercrab

    I have been less active that I was hoping this winter and only use my Bolt2 on an indoor trainer.

    My experience is that every update brings the same recurring problems and new ones.

    The iOS App seems to be less stable requiring more restarts of the App than I recall.

    Strava updating is now at it’s worst for me. It will never auto update and I have to click on the manual upload and at that time it will lock up. After an App restart, I have to click again on the manual upload and I get a message something like “processing” and it will lock up. A further restart of the App and a further click to update, instantly completes the update.

    I have a cheap eBay £8 Magene speed/sensor (bluetooth/ANT+) on my road bike and indoor trainer set to speed. These work perfectly every time and the battery lasts a long time. By contrast, my Wahoo Cadence sendor (current model) frequently looses connection with my Bolt2. The Bolt2 has about a 1m line of sight connection to both sensors. Every time I get a Bolt2 update, the Wahoo Cadence sensor is lost, yet the sensor is reported as working from within the App and shows a good green bar signal but does not show on the Bolt 2 or the data. On one occasion, the Bolt2 displayed a Max Cadence of 74rpm even though it was not showing current Cadence. This has plagued me for about 3 months. I have changed the battery and had used teh Forget teh sensor and add a New Sensor without success. That is until the other day, when after finding the “New Sensor” a further Prompt appeared asking something along the lines of do I want to add the new sensor to the Page data. I chose Yes and now it works. Not relates to the Bolt2 but teh Wahoo Cadence sensor eats so many batteries that I have had to open it with a coin and the soft plastic case is nowmarked badly. Very poor design IMHO and not as good as the Magene.

    A further bug that should have been caught is that the coloured HR zones don’t work correctly. Eg. if you have a zone set to be 110 to 125bpm and the next higher zone starts at 126bpm, the correct zone colours will appear as your HR increases. I.e. th enext zone colour will appear at 126bpm. However, if your HR is decreasing, it will keep teh same colour at 126 and also 125bpm. I suspect this may also throw off the % time in each zone.

    Bolt2 attery is still as bad as ever and what is displayed cannot be relied on to be accurate.

    I have a further concern that the USB-C connector has more play up and down that I am comfortable with.

    • Rob Stephenson

      I have solved all my problems with the Bolt 2….I’ve bought a new Bolt 1 which works perfectly.

    • KevinC

      Yeah, that’s still the best option. Didn’t know they were still selling the Bolt1. It’s just inconceivable to me that a year in (at least?) they still haven’t sorted out the Bolt2. I still suspect grey-market chips or they switched to the same manufacturing facility that Cycliq uses. :^D

    • KevinC

      The battery issues is still there for me too. Never gets above 95% and in about 15 minutes last night, just sitting on the couch, it dropped down to 88%. What a flippin’ disaster this thing is.

    • Rob Stephenson

      Got a new Bolt 1 from eBay. Agree that this might be a hardware issue that no amount of firmware upgrades will sort. This has put a big dent in Wahoo’s reputation.

    • Higli

      Battery life on Bolt v2 is way better than on Bolt v1, at least on my two devices. I have not yet managed to empty the v2, while I had to put the v1 on a power bank on some long rides.

      If the v2 won’t reach 100% you should check the charger or send it in to be repaired.

    • Dave

      Apart from the average speed indicator being inaccurate (when using a speed sensor), which despite being a known issue for 3 years wahoo still haven’t fixed!

      And I think that sums up the route wahoo seems to have gone down – releasing products which on paper are superb but in reality have problems, and seemingly refusing to spend time actually fixing the issues.

    • Spidercrab

      So yet another Bolt2 update. Using the iOS App, after recording an indoor session and saving it, I selected update the Bolt2, which it did, but as soon as the Bolt2 restarted, the App crashed. That is a serious App crash when when an external device conneced via Bluetooth starts up, that it crashes an App.

      Come on Wahoo. Get this stuf sorted.

  44. Bruce Scott

    Hi, I have recently purchased a new Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt v2 and noticed a sudden drop in battery charge after it had been switched off over night.
    The unit had been fully charged listing 100% then switched off and disconnected from the wall charger. When I turned the unit a day later the battery was listed as 95%. I turned it off and turned it back on many hours later to find the loss of a few more % points of charge. I have retested the unit and it has lost charge each time.
    Is this behaviour normal?
    It seems to work OK while riding but I am concerned that the unit seems to be either losing charge or consumes a lot of the battery each time it is switched on and therefore may be faulty.

    • KevinC

      If you see my message a few posts back… this is a common issue (can’t call it “normal”). Battery % seems to be just a random number generator. SMDH.

    • Roland K

      I don’t have this problem. I remember that when my unit was new, unit did not charge more than 99%. I contacted Wahoo and they told me that this is normal. A few weeks later that disappeared and everything works fine since then. I am very satisfied with battery life. A 3-hour MTB ride with heart rate monitor and speed sensor on and navigation off takes between 15-17% of charge, depending on temperature. Very happy with these numbers. My unit is now 3 months old.

    • Jeff O.

      I don’t have this problem either. You need to make sure the charger you are using is a high-output charger, for the later USB-C based phones, etc. Earlier chargers and even laptops have a lower output (I am sure others can tell your specifics and the why’s…) and do not give the Bolt v2 enough charge.

    • Bruce

      Thanks. Today’s ride without HR or Power meter sensors connected showed a 10% fall in charge within the first 3 km followed by another 15% loss over the next 80 mins of gentle pedalling. The unit had spent the whole night plugged into a charger plugged into a wall power point and recorded 100% charge.

    • Roland K

      That is far too much. Would recommend to contact Wahoo

    • Spidercrab

      I did contact Wahoo over this exact issue and was told to look out for updates, of which there have been many and none have fixed this issue. I felt palmed off with a boilerplate ignore there is any issue, reply.

      In my experience using my Bolt from full charge for rides of up to 3.5 hours, the battery % displayed cannot be considered accurate. I am reluctantly OK with that, but if I was was trying to use the Bolt2 over a few days without being able to charge it up overnight, I would have no confidence in knowing that the Bolt2’s actually power remaining woud equal what’s shon in the display. Mine usually drops from 100% to 91% in about 5 minutes of use.

      If you don’t see 100% after a long charge then this is exactly issue of display of displaying a different % to the actual %.

      IMHO the battery full empty calibration is broken or buggy OR the design is poor OR the quality of battery does not match the design spec..

      For the average rider it probably isn’t a bad enough problem to send the unit back.

    • Bruce

      Very happy to say that Wahoo has decided to replace the unit.

    • Roland K

      Return the unit to Wahoo under warranty.

  45. H Silva

    Just to share my so far short experience with the bolt v2. I am but disappointed regarding the supposed ease of use of the device. The app is not super intuitive, it also requires Bluetooth, GPS and data connection to access some features such as loaded maps…
    Still in the app, my smartphone defaults to Brazilian Portuguese (phone is actually in Portuguese from Portugal). It would not be a big thing but there are words which I believe they don’t even exist, and also this makes the Bolt default to PT-BR which you can change, but when you pair with the phone again changes everything back. The issue with the language in the device is also that it mixes Portuguese and English in some menus, and this is not intuitive to have. I’ve reported to Wahoo and they say nothing they can do…
    I think the device is also not very easy to used if you want to do workouts and don’t have an online service subscribed. So far the only way to load things that don’t require such service is to use Dropbox. So if someone is looking at this device as an offline device it is more work to figure out how to use it in such way.
    In my opinion the app should have the ability to load and download workout files, doesn’t seem a super complicated thing to implement…
    I did a small ride and tested the turn by turn, the sound beeps 250m before the turn and the leds blink in the turn direction. The Leds I didn’t find super useful, as looking to the map and seeing the colour indication which is very nice.
    To go to within the device is not super easy due to the button navigation but doable. I don’t know if to do a route with the app and send it to the device is necessary to have data connection, haven’t tested it so far.
    I have also tested the manual control of an ant+ trainer, an Elite in my case, and the only strange thing was the velocity values when starting. After I connected the Wahoo speed sensor and it was ok.

    Sorry about the long post, just thought to share my experience of someone is interested in buying one of these.

  46. Steve

    I just updated to version WA27-14466 and now my Bolt 2 will not work.
    Every time I open the phone App it just displays:

    “ELEMNT keeps stopping”
    X Close App
    : Send feedback

    I have tried un-pairing and re-pairing but to no avail, now I am stuck hoping to get an answer from Support and cannot use the app. Unsure if the computer will record a ride or not in this state?

  47. Mike P

    I just got the Bolt v2 and so far I am pretty happy with it, but I have noticed one issue that I can’t seem to figure out. I have done several rides with the device and wanted to add one of them as a route. So, I went into View routes>add a route (+)> Create from history. Regardless of which ride I choose from history I get the same error “Route creation failed”. Am I doing something wrong, or is it a typical Wahoo “we’re working on it” issue?

  48. Gary Fogal

    There’s a lot of confusion about charging the Bolt V2, and I suspect it’s related to the various charging standards that are out there. A search on USB power delivery will reveal how complex an issue this is. Note that PD is a generic (and preferred) power standard, whereas QC is a proprietary to Qualcomm; using a PD adapter with a QC end device will not result in the desired fast charging. Since Wahoo doesn’t specify which power delivery standard it supports (e.g. PD 3.0 or QC 3.0), this makes it hard for consumers to purchase the correct accessories (wall adapter and cable). To whit, if your adapter isn’t PD 3.0 compatible (or QC if that applies), and your adapter and cable aren’t designed to handle 5 amps, then you won’t get fast charging. Wahoo needs to identify the exact power standards it complies with, and post it on their website.

  49. Andy

    Can anyone confirm if the Bolt V2 will charge with a USB C-to-C cable coming from a USB PD charger? Or does it only charge with USB A-to-C?

    This seems like a common problems with device manufacturers lazily swapping the micro USB port to USB-C but not actually implementing the USB PD charging spec, and thus the unit will not accept C-to-C because it requires the charger and the device to do a ‘handshake’ and determine the voltage and current. A few comments above seem to hint this is an issue with the Bolt V2.

    I am not concerned about charging speed (5W is fine) but I would love to be able to ditch my old USB-A wall chargers and external battery banks and just carry USB-C everything.

    • Jeff O.

      Yes. I have been successfully charging the Bolt v2 to 100% using a dedicated USB-C wall charger, using a certified USB-C to USB-C cable, since I got the v2 when it was released.

  50. Scottfa

    Replaced my Bolt V1 with a V2. When using a route the turn by turn is borked. First it states that the turn is 780 feet up ahead. That’s like 2 1/2 football fields! No way. If I stop at the turn it says the turn I am at is anywhere from 22 ft up to over 100 ft ahead. After I turn it resets properly. I assume this is due to the GPS (in) accuracy. That computation is anywhere from 10 to 20 times worse than my Bolt V1. All firmware updates installed.
    I am convinced that it is a hardware problem hence no fix(ever?) from Wahoo. It is a shame as I love the new screen and use of color. Goes back tomorrow for a refund.

    • Roland K

      I have similar issues with the TBT. I always ride with speedsensor. It seems to me that the distance to the turn shown on the display lacks behind the real position, i.e., it is always too long. The beep when you have approached the turn comes too late, i.e., when you already have passed the turn. I cant confirm that the error in the distance accumulates. Maybe that the error in the distance is caused by a too slow processor, which makes the unit lacking behind reality.
      Overall, I am very satisfied with the unit. Among others they added a horizontal and vertical scale to the climbing page which helps a lot, though the font size is too small when riding on a mtb trail. Battery live is phantastic; with heart rate monitor and speed sensor connected (no phone connection) I easily get at least 15 hours.

  51. Mateo

    Hi folks & folkettes,
    Just to share, after recent updates, the device is almost flawless. Finally the temperature reading is close to correct, even slightly lower, on powerup gps lock is faster, and altitude more accurate (still can’t understand why we cannot have fav locations with known altitude…)
    I see couple of comments on mismatch between TBT indications being off, maybe I can shed some light. I’ve seen the same on a longer ride, with error accumulating to over 300m after 200km ride. Seems tbt (at least in same cases, ie. Routes) is based on distance made, not location. Meaning, it follows the list of turns as it is loaded by the route. If you’re using speed sensor with fixed wheel circumference, not auto, slightest error in distance will accumulate, and start showing indications way before or after the actual turn. Setting to auto fixed the mismatch.

    One pet pevee I still have – great addition with custom alarms, but for pete’ sake – why is dismiss button in the middle, right where pause ride is?!?! I have it set for a water sip every 20m, but if by mistake I press twice on Dismiss (not hard when riding gravel…) I may loose my ride! And mute is on the right, easy to press with di2 button, and dying of dehydration as a result 😀

    • Scottfa

      Interesting…….I don’t think my original Bolt has this problem. It seems then that I either have accurate TBT or accurate speed and distance. That is not a choice I want to make.

      BTW, Rei is listing the Roam at $299 with the disclaimer that it is a discontinued item…..

    • Marcin

      There must be something new coming soon, on European Wahoo official shop Roam is with 100E discount. I am torn between Bolt2 and Roam, as my ELEMNT battery is slowly dying

    • Scottfa

      Ok, just used my original Bolt for a week long tour and had some surprising results. while the GPS accuracy is certainly better, the TBT exibited the same poor behavior. It, like the V2, still reports the turn up to 100 feet past the turn. Also, on the original Bolt it was hard to read street names due to glare and small lettering. Perhaps the V2 is better in this regard. Really, hoping for something to do this better.
      As an aside, REI still has the Roam on sale, but has removed the “discontinued item” notice.

  52. Peter

    Great preliminary run down _ very helpful

  53. Pawel

    My wife’s bryton rider gps got damaged after mtb fall and she needed new device with maps (bryton did not have them). I did not want to buy her garmin 530/830 due to complexity so I thought bolt v2 will be a great one. What a terrible choice it was…map detail outside of town (forest roads, single trails) is so bad, one cannot see what is on the map, it looks like big green area and your position icon, colors and contrast of paths is so faint that she could not see anything on the display. Returned device very soon after purchase. Lack of compass is another disappointment but I knew about that beforehand. Conclusion is that there is nothing better than garmin for mtb cycling (at least in my opinion, I also had Karoo2 but sold it and replaced it with Edge 530-great for my needs).

    • Higli

      Since the Bolt v2 does have a compass, are you sure you really had one? I have a buddy who has an Edge 530 and whenever he gets lost on a trail riding in front of me, my Bolt v2 saves us.

    • Pawel

      Bolt v2 does not have an electronic compass, if you rotate the bike handlebar the map on the device does not rotate, it was confirmed on this forum several times. Your comment questioning if I really had it is disrespectful and I ask you to not do it again. In my area maps on garmin look so much better than on wahoo and having compass helps at trails intersections a lot.

    • Stephen Thomas

      In the ELEMNT app

      Settings -> [Specific Device] -> Always rotate maps

      Set to either on or off as you prefer. Has been available even on the v1 Bolt since forever.

    • Roland K

      I found your conclusion “that there is nothing better than a garmin for mtb cycling)” unbalanced. Maybe for your needs (but then you have to be precise why). For instance, after the last map update, the maps for the Netherlands (where I am living) are the most detailed ones I have ever seen. My experience with both the Bolt v2 and the Edge 530 is that both units have their pros and cons. That applies also to navigation. For instance, Wahoo Bolt v2 has a much better display and the map and your current position are much easier to read than on the Edge 530. The larger display of the Edge 530 is not exploited as your current position is at the center of the screen and not closer to the bottom of the screen as in case of the Bolt v2. And re-routing on the Bolt v2 does what everybody understands with ‘re-routing’ and not the worthless ‘re-routing’ on the Edge 530, which in general never brings you back to the planned route, but always choses a new route to the finish. Complaining about a missing compass is not fair as the specs tell you that the Wahoo Bolt v2 does not have a compass. If a compass is a must, then buy a unit which has one and do not criticise a unit which does not have it.

    • Pawel

      You do not understand what that setting does. Rotate map on means adjust map position to your movement based on gps only. If you stop and turn bike handlebar 90 degrees left then map will not rotate with that movement.

    • Pawel

      I described why edge 530 is way better for me: map detail with easy to see trails and roads. For me bolt is good for road/gravel type of riding, for mtb it is terrible. If I took you with me for a ride to my nearest forest you would not see where you are having bolt v2, with edge you would see all paths. Riding in mountains is very different than in flat areas.

    • Stephen Thomas

      @Roland. Don’t sweat it. @Pawel is entitled to his own opinions even if they seem unreasonable to us. It is interesting that in comment #690 on September 28, 2021, he concludes that the Bolt is unacceptable and returns it. Yet on August 18, 2022 he buys one for his wife.

    • Pawel

      I admit, yes, I decided to give Bolt a second chance. BTW: Why are you so sure that Pawel from comment#690 is same Pawel from Aug 18 comments? It is likely but not certain. I only wanted to share my opinions so people thinking of buying it can make more informed decision. So there are 2 things bad for me: map detail in mountain areas and lack of electronic compass. I personally use custom map in edge with contrast/style map which I like. That is not possible with Bolt v2 so another con. That is all from me, no more replies, I am done with Bolt and this forum.

  54. Marianne V

    Does anybody know the maximum .gpx for which the Bolt v2 is capable of generating turn by turn instructions on device?

    I have a 260 km ride coming up and for that .gpx my Bolt v2 fails to generate the TBT instructions, but for a 75 km ride it works just fine. Also, does the Edge 530/830 suffer from the same problem?

  55. robert stephenson

    A long time since the original review and no update. Will there follow-up?

  56. Sander Värv

    Ray, what’s the basis for claiming that Bolt v2 supports faster charging? I can’t find anything to support this claim on Wahoo’s site.

    Faster charging was my main reason for upgrading and I’m disappointed to learn it simply doesn’t deliver. If you’re wondering why, then for example in an ultra race its very handy if you can charge several times faster.

    In fact, my unit seems to charge even slower than my Roam does. I got a USB tester to verify it: Roam charges @ 5V 1A, Bolt v2 charges @ 5V 0.5A. I tried several different cables and chargers and either won’t charge at all with a capable PD charger or charges at this lower power.

    Has anyone else tested the charging speed? Is perhaps my unit faulty?

    • Sander Värv

      I contacted Wahoo support and asked them directly — Does Bolt v2 support fast charging and if so, what kind of cable/charger do I need. Their answer was no, there’s no support for it. Use the included cable and avoid Apple branded chargers and PD chargers.