Wahoo ELEMNT Series Firmware Update Speeds Things Up

While lazily scrolling through my YouTube subscriptions this morning I caught GPLAMA’s latest (and quick) video, which in turn caught a Wahoo firmware update that came out this week, claiming: “Performance Improvements and Optimizations”.  Of course, that wording is found on just about every firmware update by just about every company. So most of us tend to ignore it, since it’s almost always there. For the original ELEMNT series unit, that wording is listed in some 13 firmware updates over the years.

But, turns out this time they actually mean it. It’s legit faster. Like, waaaaay faster. Fast enough that after watching Lama’s video I decided to update not just one, not two, not three, but all four of my ELEMNT units to see if it held true.

To be clear, this firmware update specifically speeds up the page presses, which, in general on Wahoo bike computers are pretty slow. In fact, in my Wahoo ROAM review I noted: “And the speed of the basic user interface bits (how fast it reacts) is far slower than competitors. Way slower”, followed later in the summary saying “But now – it just feels out of date. The display and slowness of the unit simply doesn’t match 2019…”

Good news, the ROAM is far faster now than pre-update.

This update is applicable for *ALL* Wahoo ELEMNT series cycling devices:

Wahoo ELEMNT (original)
Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT (V1)
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM
Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT (V2)

The update took perhaps 5-10 minutes in total for each of them to download, update, and reboot:

The amount each one improved seemed to vary. I’d say the ROAM got by far the biggest improvement in speeds. Whereas the BOLT V2 didn’t seem too much faster on my unit (or to my eyes). If you want to see the differences, Shane’s quick video does it well enough, and matches the simple phone footage I shot before/after to compare.

As Shane points out, this will also help accidental extra button presses when you thought it didn’t register because it didn’t respond fast enough.

Of course, at this point, someone’s gonna ask when my Wahoo BOLT V2 final-final review is going to come out. A fair question. Soon? Though, I suppose it’s always soon (I actually detailed a much longer answer in the comments section of that not-yet-review post recently). But hey, I’ve got some solid riding in a non-flat place coming up this week. So either it’ll succeed, or it’ll fail. No matter the case, a final-final review will follow very shortly.

With that – go forth and update your units, you’ve now got a faster bike computer.

Thanks for reading!

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View Comments (24)

  • Thanks - good to know this update actually does something! With my original Elemnt (still my favorite for build quality), the only lag that is bothersome for my needs, is the lag in showing the gear change when connected to Shimano Di2. Does this update affect that lag at all?

  • Of course it will. You'll be spending far less time looking at the display because it updated so quickly, thus you will have more time to focus on going faster.

  • Would be awesome if I could could actually update the firmware on my elemnt on the first or second attempt, lately it seems to take 20+ attempts before it will complete the download.

    • same (on bolt v1), and gold help you if you need to download a basemap.

      For some reason, I seem to have better results if the head unit is charging and connected to my phone's wifi hotspot.

    • So it's not just me that's having that issue. Mine starts downloading and then just gives up. From the reported freezes, I'm glad I didn't put much effort into updating. My 5+ year old ELEMNT works just fine, honestly, speedier page changes aren't going to change my life, but freezes will!

    • I saw this for Bolt2 too. The route loads but the map page turns completely white. If I start riding and get off course, the "rerouting" thing shows on the map page, and leds are blinking, but the map itself never renders. I can switch to other pages and back to the map and it will render correctly.

      Wahoo changed how the map page is rendered for sure. I had two data fields set up for remaining distance and distance to next cue, and they are no longer showing on the map page.

      I guess we got the standard Wahoo software update, where something is fixed but things that had been working for years is now broken in exchange. Very disappointing.

      I'll do a factory reset and set everything up from scratch, maybe that fixes things.

  • For any Bolt v2 owners this seems to me to be a very odd video and announcement from Wahoo.

    On the Bolt v2 switching between pages has never been an issue and compared to all of the other ongoing unfixed issues, it is a non event. Why then would Wahoo release a video about it as if it's a big thing. It's a smoke and mirrors distraction.

    After 6 months of Bolt v2 ownership, and experiencing a cycle of some stuff gets fixed and then broken after infrequent FW updates, it's as if Wahoo have had an epiphany that if they make a big thing about the page switching speed up, everything else will go away. The bigger issue for Bolt v2 owners is that there is no reason to ever switch pages becasue of the ongoing issues with maps, navigation lag etc..

    • I feel the same. The Bolt feels like a 10 year old car gps unit, definitely isn't worth the premium price. I hope Hammerhead will gain some momentum and forces Wahoo and Garmin to step up their game.

    • Wahoo didn't release a video. I did. Wahoo had no announcement on this at all. They pushed a generic changelog on this update and users (like me) found what one of the optimisations was.

      No smoke and mirrors. No epiphany. No 'big thing'. Nothing at all from Wahoo on this.

    • Your video is so slick with the Wahoo font, images and overall corporate Wahoo look, that it looks like a video created by Wahoo. I can't be the only person that thought this was created by Wahoo.

      That goes some way to explaining how this video would be really odd had it been created by Wahoo.

  • Hmm, so many comments about the Bolt. I love my Elemnt! Side-by-side with my wife's Roam, it is clear to me something is not the same with later models like the Roam and Bolt.

    Wahoo - bring back the Elemnt with its large, clear display, robust and easy use buttons.

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