JUMP TO:

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM V2 (2022) Bike Computer In-Depth Review

Today Wahoo has announced their latest bike computer, the new Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM. Unofficially it’s the ROAM V2 or ROAM 2022 or ROAM 2nd Edition or whatever you want to call it – but no matter the name, it’s Wahoo’s flagship bike computer. This new version includes a more colorful display, upgraded multi-band GNSS chipset for better GPS accuracy, as well as USB-C support.

Beyond the hardware, it also includes promises of new software features down the road, including (finally) a competitor to Garmin’s ClimbPro, which will show the distance and details of climbs as you ride them. While that feature isn’t here today, there are some additional new features that have launched over the past 24 hours to other Wahoo bike computers that are also on the ROAM V2, including Supersapiens support and new structured workout sync from Wahoo SYSTM.

We’ll dive into everything in just a moment. First, note that Wahoo sent over a media loaner ROAM V2 to try out, and I’ve been putting it through its paces to see how the new features handle, as well as how existing features continue to function. Once it’s done, I’ll get it packaged back up and sent back to Wahoo. 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 regular behind-the-scenes video series on all the reviews. And of course, being a DCR supporter makes you awesome.

What’s New:

clip_image001

As with most Wahoo products, most new software features are coming to other existing Wahoo products (but, not all). So really, anytime Wahoo announces a new product it’s basically two pieces: What’s new in the hardware, and what’s new in the software. However, this time is a bit trickier, because the marquee new software features of this newly announced product…umm…aren’t here yet. I can’t test them (yet).

In any event, let’s start with the hardware first. The new Wahoo ROAM V2 hardware changes the following;

– Added Multi-band/Dual Frequency GPS (from Sony)
– Added 64-color display (same as BOLT V2, was previously 16 colors)
– Increased to 32GB of storage (was previously 4GB)
– Changed buttons to be raised instead of divots
– Changed to USB-C charging port
– Maintained same 17-hour battery life
– Price rises slightly from $379 to $399

Then there are software features, these are new features that are basically going live today/yesterday in conjunction with the ROAM V2. I’ve listed which existing units are getting these features:

– Added Wahoo SYSTM Outdoor Workout Sync (akin to what already exists for TrainerRoad/Today’s Plan)
– Added Wahoo ROAM Backup/Restore via Wahoo cloud
– Added Supersapiens sensor integrations

And then, there are the two features that aren’t live today, nor have I tested them. Wahoo says these are ideally weeks away, but to be honest – Wahoo has a pretty rough track record the last few years when it comes to predicting software feature timelines for outstanding features at launch – usually many months behind estimates. Nonetheless, these planned features are:

– Adding Summit Segments: This is essentially akin to what Garmin has with ClimbPro where it shows you the upcoming climb, distance to the top, and more. These are for pre-planned routes only, but it does automatically calculate the climbs that meet the given threshold on the route. That threshold is that a climb must be 500m long as well as 3% in average gradient. This feature is building atop what Wahoo launched earlier this past summer to see upcoming gradient detail. Note that both the existing Wahoo ROAM V1 and BOLT V2 units will get this (since they both have color screens).

– Adding Public Route Sharing: This feature makes it possible to quickly share routes with other Wahoo users, such as at a coffee shop prior to a group ride. This uses a blend of the Wahoo app with the ROAM to geolocate people within your vicinity, and then make it possible to quickly send a route to them.

Again, I don’t have anything more than a single screenshot of the Summit Segment, and nothing at all for the sharing feature. As such, I can’t reasonably judge on how good these implementations are in real-life. On paper, Wahoo’s implementation roughly sounds like Garmin’s longstanding ClimbPro, but falls short of Hammerhead’s more advanced CLIMBER, which doesn’t require a route to be loaded. On the flip side, Hammerhead’s upcoming CLIMBER gradient is notoriously incorrect/wrong most of the time, whereas Garmin’s ClimbPro tends to be correct. I have no idea where Wahoo will land on that spectrum (good, bad, or otherwise).

In any case, into the box we go.

Setup & Basics:

First up, is the general interface for the Wahoo ROAM, which includes three buttons on top, two on the right side, and one on the left side. The upper left button is your power button, and also acts as your menu and ‘back’ button. Whereas the right side buttons are primarily used for up/down navigation, as well as zooming screens. And lastly, the topside buttons are used for changing data pages and selecting menu options.

clip_image001[9]

The ‘biggest’ change to these top-side buttons is that they are now ‘outies’ versus ‘innies’, meaning that on the previous ROAM V1 they were divots (like a bowl), and harder to use with gloves. Now they pop-out instead, like all other buttons ever made on planet earth. This is the same as the Wahoo BOLT V2.

While we’re at the bottom, we’ve got the new USB-C port:

clip_image001[11]

Next, along the left and top sides of the unit are LED strips. These strips illuminate for various things, such as navigation, Strava Live Segments, and zones. You can see an example of this here during a Strava Live Segment:

IMG_7663

However, you can customize these in the app to show your speed, power, or heart rate zones, which are also customizable in the Wahoo ELEMNT app.

clip_image001 clip_image001[6] clip_image001[8]

Speaking of which, most settings-related things are configured via the Wahoo ELEMNT companion app. For example, this is where you configure data pages and data fields. Here you can create data pages with upwards of 11 data fields on them. What’s unique about the Wahoo implementation of data pages is that you ‘order’ your data fields from most to least important, such that later you can use the buttons on the ROAM to reduce the number of fields on the page mid-ride to just the most important ones.

clip_image001[10] clip_image001[12] clip_image001[18] clip_image001[16]

There’s gazillions of data fields to choose from, so listing them all here would be mostly silly (though, a fun typing exercise). I haven’t heard any recent complaints about missing Wahoo data fields (that people want). So I think they’ve got about everything covered. However, there is no concept of ride profiles (for example, a different profile for road vs MTB, etc…), like most other bike computers. I’d have liked to have seen Wahoo go towards multiple ride profiles given it is something many have requested.

There are a handful of other settings you can configure from the app, such as backlight timeout, auto pause, and more. You can see most of these from these screenshots below. For better or worse, this has long been Wahoo’s philosophy in terms of their bike computers: Make it easy and simple. On one hand, they definitely accomplish that. There’s very little to think about or configure, while still offering some customization. You’re not going to get lost in the menus of a Wahoo device or Wahoo app – it’s physically impossible, they just aren’t that deep. Whereas inversely, you’re also not going to find the level of customization or features here either that you would on other like-priced devices.

clip_image001[20] clip_image001[22] clip_image001[24] clip_image001[26]

Before we pair up our sensors and get riding with it, there’s a new feature which allows you to restore from one of your backup profiles. This isn’t much different than how you can restore from a cloud backup of your phone, except, it’s your bike computer. There is no way to manually create a backup, instead, Wahoo will automatically create a backup whenever you start a workout or unpair your device. In the menus you can tap to restore it:

clip_image001[30] clip_image001[28] clip_image001[32]

While I always appreciate new features, I’m honestly a bit perplexed by this one. I’ve never once heard a single request for this from anyone. And I feel like it’s a pretty limited use case, especially in Wahoo’s case where they don’t really have a lot of customization (compared to their competitors) of their bike computers. So while I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, I’d have preferred this dev work be spent on something else.

Finally, let’s pair up some sensors. You can do this via the unit or via the mobile app. If doing it from the ROAM itself, you can choose ‘Add Sensor’ in the menus, which then starts a search for nearby sensors. This will enumerate both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, including both standard profile ones as well as customized ones.

Here’s a list of all the sensor types the Wahoo ROAM V2 supports:

– Heart Rate Sensors (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart)
– Power Meters (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart)
– Speed Sensors (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart)
– Cadence Sensors (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart)
– Speed/Cadence Combo Sensors (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart)
– Muscle Oxygen sensors (ANT+)
– Cycling Radar Sensors (ANT+)
– Gear Shifting sensors like SRAM eTAP or Campagnolo EPS (ANT+)
– Shimano Di2 electronic shifting (proprietary ANT)
– SRAM TyreWiz Sensors (ANT)
– Supersapiens Sensors (Bluetooth Smart)

I thought it was kinda notable that the ROAM actually not only knew the name of my Garmin Rally pedals on this bike, but even more notably drew the correct icon for it (versus say, the Speedplay pedal icon). It also gave me Rally low battery warnings, which I regretfully ignored only to have them die two rides later.

IMG_7318 IMG_7631

You can give custom names to sensors from the Wahoo companion app, and you can have multiple sensors of the same type, and it’ll prompt you which one to use if both are online. In my testing with the ROAM V2 I’ve tested heart rate sensors, power meters, Shimano Di2, and smart trainers. I haven’t seen any issues with any of them from a data standpoint.

Note that with the ROAM V2 release, they also added Supersapiens sensor support. While I haven’t had a chance to test that out myself, I’m told it mirrors Garmin’s Connect IQ solution, which is to say that the Supersapiens sensor doesn’t directly talk to the Wahoo ROAM, but rather via the phone (or the Supersapiens band). This is due to regulatory challenges that Supersapiens has around the sensor from Abbot labs. Not a big deal in the case of cycling as most people have their phone with them, but worthy of mentioning.

With that, let’s head outside.

Riding With It:

IMG_7669

When it comes to rides, like most bike computers you can choose to ride with or without navigation. You’ll always have access to the map either way, but one will also include routing details and turn-by-turn instructions. The ROAM V2 includes much larger storage (32GB) which Wahoo basically caches the entire world with. Though oddly, despite that, it still wanted to download the Netherlands map upon setup (roughly about 300MB). Once completed, it did indeed reduce my storage by that much. No big deal, still about 1GB remaining. You can use the Wahoo app to specify which maps you need, and then select them to download via WiFi:

clip_image001[48] clip_image001[50] clip_image001[52]

When it comes to routes, you’ve got a few options. If you’ve got accounts on platforms like Strava, Komoot, and others, those routes will automatically sync to the Wahoo ROAM, both the device as well as the companion app. You can also pull in routes from files, create a route from a past historical ride, route back to the start, or put in a specific location to route to. Putting in a specific location does require your phone, it’s not something you can do directly on the unit. Whereas choosing a route from an online platform will sync directly to the device.

clip_image001[40] clip_image001[42] clip_image001[44] clip_image001[46]

For example, if we crack open my unit, and then into the routes option, you see I can retrace a ride, route to the start, take me to (which lets you access saved locations or zoom around on the map), and then my routes down below.

clip_image001[13] clip_image001[15]

In my case, I selected a route for today that I synced from Strava. I did find it took about 20-30 seconds for it to actually load the route, which is a bit longer than most (all?) new bike computers released this year. However, as I’d find out, it actually took even longer for GPS to acquire.

IMG_7613 IMG_7614

While it loaded the route, it also looked for GPS. On yesterday’s ride, this took well over 2 minutes to find GPS despite having pretty wide open views of the sky. It did at least tell me that it was still “Poor GPS”. I didn’t notice this previously on rides.

IMG_7617

With my route loaded (you can see it above with the chevrons on the map), off we roll. Starting off with the navigation bits, we’ve got a couple of different views. Here we can see my route below on the chevrons in the general map view. This view has data fields at the top, including the distance to the next cue (in my case, 420m).

IMG_7634

However, you can see as I approach a turn/junction, it pops up an arrow listing what to do next – in this case I’m 212m away. This will pop up on any other data pages you have, so if you’re heads down with your power-focused data page, it’ll show up there too.

IMG_7639

You can also tap back into the routes page to see a full cue sheet if you want, showing upcoming turns and the distances.

IMG_7647

The rest of your data pages are accessible by tapping the ‘Page’ button in the lower right corner. Here you can see my main data page with all my metrics, including the color-coding on my power and heart rate fields:

IMG_7643

Here’s an elevation-focused data page. Of course, being the greater Amsterdam area, this is as flat as a pancake:

IMG_7644

And then here’s a simple custom page I made with just power metrics, and shown at different trailing intervals: 3-seconds, 20-seconds, 30-seconds, and 5-minutes:

IMG_7645

Now in my case I’ve got various Strava Live Segments favorited around my area, and I soon come up on one. Here it shows me I’ve got 71 meters remaining until that segment begins, along with the name of it. Then it shortly changes to a gigantic ‘Go’, just in case I wanted to suffer.

IMG_7653 IMG_7654

Given I have nothing better to do, I give it a whirl. You can change whether you’re targeting your previous PR  or the KOM by pressing the “VS” button at the bottom. In my case, I’m just targeting myself on this roughly 2KM long venture. However, you can see about halfway through, a trip into another segment. Which also shows. I can tap the ‘SGMNT’ button at the bottom to toggle between the different overlapping segments.

IMG_7659 IMG_7661

Despite my very lazy attempt at this, I do manage to best my PR. This is mostly because I’m pretty sure I’ve never made much of an effort on this segment (thankfully).

SegmentWin

Next, let’s take a look at a structured workout – this time with a Wahoo SYSTM workout. These are new this week, specifically the ability to sync them to your Wahoo device. Practically speaking, this is no different than what Wahoo has had for years with their TrainingPeaks and TrainerRoad integration, as well as Today’s Plan.

To set this up for SYSTM, you’ll crack open the system app and then assign a workout to the calendar. Of course, if you’re on a training plan, then it’ll automatically show up. In my case, I added one of the two free ones to my calendar for today:

clip_image001[54] clip_image001[56] clip_image001[58] clip_image001[60]

Once that’s done, you’ll head over to the ROAM and validate it’s synced to the platforms, which it does anytime you turn it on. That should then show up under Planned Workouts. Except, for whatever reason, I couldn’t get it working. So instead, I created a workout using the TrainerRoad app with TrainNow, and sent that to my calendar for today. That worked instantly. So, I added this to my ride, which I’d load later mid-ride:

clip_image001[17]

It’ll then iterate through each step of the workout for you:

clip_image001[19]

The only downside is that the color-coding of your existing zones overrides the target ranges for the workout. So basically you can see that despite me being out of zone for this target (which was 307-329w), I’m in the green, because that just happens to be my green zone for my power zones. It’s even more pronounced when I’m supposed to be in recovery at 1-155w, yet it shows me at green while I’m doing 300w.

Of course in theory the LEDs along the left side aim to remedy that, but my eyes are very much drawn to the giant green squares rather than the lesser LEDs.

clip_image001[21]

Once we’ve finished with the ride, we’ll get a summary page with an overview of the key stats. We can also toggle into some time-duration views (like the past week/month/etc…) to see our historical stats there:

IMG_7371

Of course, the majority of stats are actually on the Wahoo ELEMNT companion app, where we can dive into the maps and other data graphs in more detail:

And then as usual, all of this syncs off to 3rd party partners as well. You can set these up earlier on in the Wahoo app, here’s a listing of the current partners:

clip_image001[34] clip_image001[36] clip_image001[38]

After a ride it’ll automatically sync to this list, and tends to do so within a minute or two. This showed up in Strava for me with no problems, as well as over on Dropbox. This piece works well, and Wahoo also makes it easy to sync again to other partners or manually export files if you need to.

Overall from a ride standpoint, not much has changed with the ELEMNT ROAM V2 compared to other recent Wahoo ELEMNT devices. It all feels about the same. Sure, you do get some new colors, which definitely appear crispier – but, if you’re looking for the same Wahoo experience as the past, you’ll be happy to know it’s the same here. Obviously, I’m waiting on seeing how the upcoming Wahoo Summit Segments appear, as that’d be the biggest feature update to Wahoo bike computers in many many years.

GPS Accuracy:

There’s likely no topic that stirs as much discussion and passion as GPS or heart rate accuracy.  A bike computer could fall apart and give you dire electrical shocks while doing so, but if it shows you on the wrong side of the road?  Oh hell no, bring on the fury of the internet!

GPS accuracy can be looked at in a number of different ways, but I prefer to look at it using a number of devices in real-world scenarios across a vast number of activities.  I use 2-6 other devices at once, trying to get a clear picture of how a given set of devices handles conditions on a certain day.  Conditions include everything from tree/building cover to weather.

In all these tests, the Wahoo ROAM V2 was in a multi-band (dual-frequency) GNSS configuration, namely because there is no configuration option otherwise. Thus, it was at the best settings it could have. In most of the tests, I was comparing it against another multi-band GPS, the Garmin Edge 1040, which is obviously a bit pricier. Further, on the handlebars, I had the similar-priced Hammerhead Karoo 2, and Garmin Edge 830 (neither of which have multi-band), while usually having a few watches with me (including the Forerunner 955, which is closer in price and does have multi-band).

Let’s get right into it with a farm/buildings/something ride. This ride had a blend of rather difficult stuff, with rather easy stuff. Though, as I’ve long found, sometimes it’s the easy stuff that trips up GPS just as much as the hard stuff. I let it get warmed up out in the farmlands with relatively little tree cover, minus a few bridges.

Starting at a high level, you can see things look pretty solid – virtually identical. Note that in this case, the Fitbit Inspire 3 on my wrist is technically leveraging my phone’s GPS, so, it’s cheating a bit. Whereas later when I show the Fitbit Sense 2, that’s leveraging the internal GPS on the watch. Just wanted to clarify that.

Farm1-Wide

If we start picking random points on the route, most of them are in the farmland. And most of them look scary perfect good between all the units. You’d be hard pressed to convince me at a glance that this is actually four GPS units:

Farm1-Zoom1

Same goes for the part through this small town, which does actually have some high-rise apartment/retirement home buildings, that I ride directly next to – with zero interference. Same goes for riding under the giant highway.

Farm1-Zoom2

Here I ride up a short/steep hill, next to the highway and then over an overpass. All sides of this look good – minus the one quirky bit of the Fitbit track doing something weird trying to go play in traffic.

Farm1-Zoom3

So, let’s get to the spicy part: The City.

This is a downtown test I do, and have been doing for almost all GPS units in the past year or so as multi-band units have come on the scene. It typically does a really good job of showing how good multi-band can be in a tough environment. Frankly, for all the crazy against 2,000ft rock-wall tests I’ve done in the Alps and other places – it’s this little city section that’s one of the most difficult spots I can find out there. Its streets are barely 2-lanes wide (if that) with 25-35 story buildings on either side.

clip_image001[23]

I do three long sweeps up and down three different streets to demonstrate accuracy. Here’s the GPS track from this ride:

Farm1-Zoom4-City

As you can pretty easily see, the Wahoo ROAM V2 suffered a fair bit here on the hardest of the three sweeps (the top one). It went all wonky, whereas somewhat surprisingly the Hammerhead Karoo 2 (no multi-band GPS) outperformed it. Here’s that section zoomed in a bit. Clearly the best was the Edge 1040 Solar, which was perfectly aligned along that diagonal road.

Farm1-Zoom5-City

Now I get it, this is tough stuff. But it’s always kinda why you’re paying for multi-band GPS – for the tough stuff.

Next, we’ve got another ride (obviously), this one I started off with that crazy downtown section, and then worked my way out through a variety of overpasses/tunnels towards the airport, followed by a bit of gravel and forests coming back. Here’s the high-level overview:

RidePlane-Wide

This time, as noted, we start off in the city in that same section doing the same pattern. This go around the Wahoo ROAM V2 does far better. It beats the Edge 830 (non-multi-band). Though, the ROAM V2 is also helped to look better by the completely drunk Fitbit Sense 2, which even makes the Edge 830 look good too. But really, the ROAM V2 and Edge 1040 are very close together here. Each make a single very minor mistake for 50m or so, but nothing major.

RidePlane-Zoom5City

A minute or so later I do a fun two-step tango under a street overpass. The Edge 1040 barely edges out the ROAM for the correct implementation of this, but we’re talking really just a few meters off. The Edge 830 isn’t much off either, but the Fitbit Sense 2 takes the cake for ‘zero effs given’ GPS track.

RidePlane-Zoom6City

Next, swinging out to some random bits on the route, we’ve got this 90° turn on some bike paths. The three bike computers absolutely nail this. Perfection. Again, Fitbit decides to go for a swim.

RidePlane-Zoom1

Next, this little section. It’s a great example of multi-band. Here we see I take a turn on a bike path street crossing. The Edge 830 (no multi-band) is very close, but still about 2 meters off. Whereas the Wahoo ROAM V2/Edge 1040 Solar hit it spot on. Also, note the second arrow. That’s where I stopped for a minute or two to take some photos of the units. You can even see the little indent where I moved my bike just one meter to the side of the road to take those photos on a fence post.

RidePlane-Zoom2

Next, here’s an intersection under a slate of highway overpasses and roads. All the units nail the big highway (to the right), but it’s actually the Edge 830 that correctly gets the highway overpass/tunnel to the left correctly. Fitbit just gave up on life.

RidePlane-Zoom3

Finally, this section in the trees. I’ll just pick one section here, since they’re all pretty similar. Here I missed the turn and had to backtrack. You can see the ROAM V2/Edge 1040 Solar handle it very much the same, whereas there’s a bit of wobble from the Edge 830 off into the trees.

RidePlane-Zoom4

Ok, with that ride behind us, let’s do some repetition fun. In this ride, I’m going to head across town to an outside cycling track that’s about 2KM in length. And I’m going to do it over and over and over again. I want to see how precise the GPS tracks are from the ROAM on repeated loops (left hand corner).

Loops-Overview

And I want to in particular look at a few sections to compare. And to be clear upfront, the ROAM did a good job here. Things are generally very close, or on the route the entire time. But, the name of the game here is repeated perfection with a multi-band config. Here’s one of the corners, where you can see the ROAM is generally on the corner, and usually on the road – though, a few times off in the grass.

Loops-1

For comparison, here’s the Edge 1040 in its multi-band config. You’ll notice every single line is on the roadway, usually right on the edge where I took the corner (a few times I took it a bit wider because of other cyclists/etc…). It’s a minor example, but something we’ve seen from Garmin in other multi-band devices, just barely edging out the competition (including edging out Apple & COROS’s multi-band implementations). In most cases though, it frankly won’t matter.

Loops-3

Here’s another example at another corner up top. This one it seems to handle better. Note that you shouldn’t look at the ‘grey’ section on the map, as that’s actually a transparent overlay from Google. The real road is under the edge of the trees in this satellite view, and thus the cutting under the trees is indeed correct.

Loops-2

I don’t see any meaningful difference between these two on this section – they seem roughly identical.

Loops-5

Still, things are very good. But since this section is all about nuanced details, I figured I’d show it.

In any case, overall I’m seeing good things with Wahoo’s implementation. While I’ve had a few minor quirks, on the whole it’s doing better than the Edge 830 is in most cases in some trickier forest spots, though a wash in most other spots. It’ll be interesting to see how Wahoo can tweak/tune it over the coming year to really get the most out of it. In most multi-band implantations we’ve seen, some months later we continue to see improvements through firmware updates.

Finally, a quick word about gradient accuracy. Unfortunately, in the time I’ve had the Wahoo ROAM V2 I haven’t had access to any meaningful hills (I live in Amsterdam, the biggest hill I have is a highway overpass). And while I did said overpass a few times, it’s just so short that getting much data from it isn’t super useful. In the handful of highway overpasses (both steep and more smoothed) I did, it reacted basically the same as the Wahoo BOLT V2 does – which is to say it’s mostly slower than the Hammerhead Karoo 2, but usually faster than the Garmin Edge 1040. Not always, sometimes it’s a wash, sometimes not. For example, today during these loops there was a very short but steep hill (10-seconds or so at 8%-ish) in the middle of it. None of the three units on my handlebars even registered it till afterwards (Wahoo ROAM V2, Garmin Edge 830, Edge 1040). Once Wahoo releases their Summit Segments bit, I’ll go figure out a place to get a hill(s) and sort things out there.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy portions were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, running power, GPS tracks, and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Wrap-Up:

clip_image001[25]

The ROAM V2 is a needed but modest hardware upgrade for Wahoo, especially in the realm of adding in multi-band GPS – making it the least expensive multi-band GPS bike computer on the market (there are other cheaper watches, but not yet other bike computers that are less expensive). The larger space for maps is super handy, both in terms of just having more maps onboard for when you travel – as well as the added details that Wahoo says they were able to fit in with that space.

In terms of usability and simplicity, that all remains the same. The ROAM V2 doesn’t change that in any way, and it’s just as easy to use as the previous ROAM (and other Wahoo bike computers) have been. As is Wahoo’s app, which eschews complexity and deep menus in favor of a strong KISS end-goal. And out on the road, all of that works well too, without too much fuss. Again, simplicity is the name of the game here – even if the interface is still a bit slow compared to most other units out there.

The challenge Wahoo has though, is twofold. First, the marquee software features they announced for the ROAM V2 simply aren’t here yet. And even once released, they are at best keeping up with bike computers from years ago. We’ve seen Hammerhead this past spring demonstrate route-less CLIMBER, which doesn’t require any route be loaded at all. Whereas Wahoo is only going to introduce route-required Summit Segments (like Garmin). Which gets to the second issue, that all of this ignores the piles of new features and capabilities that both Hammerhead and Garmin have added in recent years (or even recent weeks/months). It’s non-stop, and with a public beta program to flush out issues before they hit most users.

I suspect you’ll see most reviewers today try and skirt this elephant in the room. Sure, it’s the best Wahoo ELEMNT to date, but only just barely. And I’m not sure “barely” is good enough anymore. Wahoo used to be pushing the boundaries of bike computers and features, but these days that mojo is simply gone. Hammerhead apparently stole it. I don’t know if the issue is trying to tackle too many product lines with not enough resources, or just the realities of becoming a bigger company.

If you’ve got an older Wahoo ELEMNT or older BOLT and were looking for an upgrade within the Wahoo ecosystem, then this is probably the one for you. And if you just want a super easy-to-use bike computer with basic navigation, and don’t care about other features, this works too. But beyond that, I think it’s gonna put Wahoo in a tough spot next spring when we’ll undoubtedly see hardware refreshes from most of their competitors in this price ballpark that already have deeper offerings. I just wish Wahoo would find their mojo again.

With that – thanks for reading!

Post a Comment

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

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

121 Comments

  1. Paul S.

    Any e-bike support? I don’t see it in the list of sensors.

  2. it’s interesting where ROAM’s GPS accuracy goes pear-shaped in one of your tests. I didn’t get that.

    The mock-up screen for the Climber feature looks like it could be good but, as you say, Wahoo is playing catch up.

    Not sure if you got the chance to test the Supersapiens feature. Pairing it is ‘quirky’ to say the least! But once it’s all paired up the connection for me was more robust than a simultaneous connection I had to a 955.

    As you show in the RESTORE image, I only had one backup from the ROAM. Would you have expected to see others from other devices? (I did expect to but didn’t see any).

    • Yeah, on the Backup/Restore, it’s actually even more limited than I realized. It only saves the most recent backup, and even then, just from the start of the most recent ride (per device).

      So I had one from Oct 3rd yesterday which was still here today when I took that screenshot and wrote that section. Then, I went out for a ride (Oct 4th) this morning. That erased the Oct 3rd one and left in its place the Oct 4th one. I’m at a loss for why on earth that’d be a good idea. Clearly, the entire point of this feature would be to realize “Oh, something was bad today, I need to go back to yesterday’s or whatever”, but you can’t do that. Because by time you realize that, it’s too late.

  3. Simon Lockwood

    Sorry – it was me 🙁

    I was trying to reset my angi interface with the boltv2, without doing a factory reset. Wahoo CS told me the only way was to do a factory reset and i replied that it would be nice if all the settings were backed up in the cloud and could be restored automatically, like on a garmin edge, rather than setting up all the data fields and settings from scratch.

  4. ArT

    Let it not crash after driving 250km, as in the case of ROAM v1

  5. dr_lha

    As a user of a 6+ year old original ELEMNT, which amazingly still has great battery life (which is why it’s not been replaced), I have to say, this is the device I’ve been waiting for. USB-C, better color screen than the ROAM and more onboard storage, with a decent size screen. Fancy missing features don’t sound like stuff I really need, about the only thing missing I would want is ANT+ light support, and I gather that it is a bit of a shitshow. It’s a solid upgrade I think many people like me will go for to replace their aging devices.

    • Nik

      Same here, old ELEMNT BOLT, it just keeps going. Still had plenty of battery left after an 8.5 hour ride.

      I don’t want fancy features, I just want the basics to work.

      Making the buttons better is pretty much all I needed. It boggles the mind why they thought the recessed buttons were a good idea. It should not be a struggle to push a button on a GPS device to switch to the next screen.

  6. Edge 1040, Wahoo Roam V2 or after all Karoo 2, that’s the question 🙂 Wahoo does some things different, but I’m more with Ray and think it will be the Edge 1040 or Karoo 2 for Christmas.
    They all have their little teething problems, so that’s no longer a knock-out criterion. But it’s good, how the three manufacturers inspire themselves. As a consumer I like that.
    Thanks for the review!

  7. Shenandoah

    How on planet earth did they keep the gigantic bezel? With the old one I had the feeling to have a frying pan in front of me… smartphones have thin bezel for now few generations and our gps haven’t progressed..

  8. ArT

    I thought there would be a bigger screen or touch. Nothing new copy paste BOLT2

    • Benjamim

      My thoughts exactly about size and touch screen – my eyes aren’t getting any better at reading the text while navigating, and I find that moving the map around in the screen and zooming in and out using just buttons, is barelly usefull. If you have navigated using your smartphone, you know it’s prety frustrating moving the map around in these units using just buttons.
      Stil curious if the dual band gps, or whatever other hardware/sowftware for that matter, solves the late warnings for turns of the Bolt 2

  9. Scrappy

    Your wrap up nails it for me. As a long time Garmin user, and loving the 830 since it came out, I can’t imagine going back to buttons. And the battery life is horrible with no way to put the Bolt into a battery saver mode. As someone who regularly rides centuries and double centuries, the Wahoo equipment just doesn’t do it for me.

    • I went back to buttons after the 820, sorry but those touchscreens don’t work with gloves or in rain, maybe you are lucky and don’t have winters but the 820 was unusable in the winter, bought a 530 instead.

    • shenandoha

      Guess all depends of habbits, but I won’t use anymore pure touch-screen, in winter, they don’t work well with gloves, when it rains, they have way more problems than physical buttons. I can access them without looking, just “feeling” them.

    • Eric Hensel

      The touch-screen on the 830 is *far* superior to that on the 820. Maybe not what you wanted to hear. I wouldn’t go back, myself.

    • shenandoha

      not sure about the 830, I used hamerhead and 1030

  10. Larry Lieberman

    1. If you ride shimano di2, Karoo is completely off the table now due to them dropping sensor support because of their business feud.
    2. If you frequently do 3+ hour rides, 1040 solar becomes massively desirable

    The bike computer market is hilarious. There were so many opportunities for someone to crush Garmin’s lead, and frankly, there still are, but no one in this market has the vertical integration of an Apple with which to crush the complexity of the HW+SW engineering. Karoo has come close to demonstrating how it could be done, but the SRAM/ Shimano war has put a multi-year business feud in the middle of their potential.

    I want to love the ELEMENT… but its just not that much better any more than Garmin, and the addition of solar for an endurance rider is too great a barrier for me to even consider it.

    • David W

      I agree with most of your points. However, for me, the integration with the shifting system regardless on whether it is SRAM or Shimano, is such a minor feature that it does not factor into my decision making criteria. Having the 1040, the K2, and the old Wahoo computers I think that the K2 is the overall best of the bunch for me- all of the features work and all of the ones I use regularly are well done. The battery life could be better but I almost never ride more than 8 hours and they could make better use of the screen area for some data fields. But Hammerhead is killing it in releasing frequent fixes and new features and the screen is the easiest to read. Plus I like to be able to use either of the buttons or touchscreen. I usually lock the touchscreen during the ride because my copious sweat creates problems on all touchscreens and use the buttons and then use the touchscreen for everything else. THe best of both worlds.

    • the Di2 buttons on top of the hoods give you a third method…but not with Karoo

    • David W

      My Di2 hoods don’t have the extra buttons :(. Too old I guess or not expensive enough.

    • Dr Jones

      > 2. If you frequently do 3+ hour rides, 1040 solar becomes massively desirable

      Why?

      Even my 520 was capable of multiple 8 hour rides per charge. I seem to only charge my 530 out of habit.

    • Rob

      If you think 3+ hour rides need solar power I guess you haven’t actually used any of the Elemnt computers?

    • Jop

      The capacity of my Elemnt is around 3 hours now. 🙁

  11. Pietro

    Hi Ray, is the resolution still as the old Roam 400X240?

  12. Tristan Matthews

    I have the 1st gen Elemnt and Bolt and really like the Wahooo user interface. I have been toying with the idea of getting a Roam for a while however as I love the colour screen and find myself “borrowing” the wife’s Edge 530 more often than not now. I always ride with a planned route and the Climb Pro feature is quite nice (definitely used a lot where I live). The larger screen size on the Elemnt is what I like, hence looking at this.
    But for me, the overall size inc. bezel is nowhere near what I expect from the ‘cutting edge’ Wahoo I remember. And with those other features that Iike still lacking, along with the increased price put this in the “not yet” camp for me.
    Just a BTW – I am one (maybe the only one) who sees value in the restore from backup feature. More often than not, if there is an issue with a Wahoo computer the first piece of advice is to factory reste, which loses all your custom data screens. This feature means a simple restoration.

  13. Jody Clark

    Is the Summit Segments coming to older models like the Element?

  14. Collin

    One thing that wahoo is missing for fields is live torque in order to do a static weight test. You can change to 3s torque average, but this appears only to be visible when you’re pedalling, not static.

  15. Ronald

    Question.

    Does the Roam V1 mount also fits the V2 ? (not like the Bolt V1 which is different than the V2 mount)

  16. Brian Brackemyre

    I think your last paragraph is spot on! I am a Wahoo user who made the switch from Garmin for the simplicity factor. But as you noted, the other Big 2 are just setting a pace too fast for Wahoo. I wish Wahoo wasn’t slow to react and almost non existent at innovating any more. So come spring I’ll look to see what goodies Garmin and Hammerhead roll out and most likely will switch then. “Sad but true.” – Metallica

  17. John Lacey

    Does the new Roam have any rerouting capabilities? The Karoo is particularly good in this area with almost instantaneous rerouting using red chevrons to intercept either the start or the continuation of your chosen route. Is the Roam competitive on this front or is it another future “promise”?

  18. KevinC

    From the screen shots it appears the Roam has FINALLY added the same map pan/zoom functionality that the Bolt2 had at release. That was my primary complaint about the Roam – that you could pan the map WHILE navigating. The Roam still has a battery life 2x or more of the Karoo2 and, though flakier than they used to be, Wahoo units are still way more stable than Garmin from a software perspective. So I’m still a Wahoo guy for now. I agree they have a LOT of catching up to do and wish they would “dance with them that brung ‘em” i.e. concentrate on their head units.

  19. Mayhem

    So did they get the Roam v2 to report the correct temperature? After several years of firmware updated the Bolt v2 is still way off and Wahoo seem either uninterested or unable to fix this.

    • Alex

      Temperature on my Bolt v2 just flat out doesn’t work and their support team wasn’t interested. I was really excited about switching from an older Garmin 510 to the Bolt but my feeling is that it was launched without enough testing.

    • Richard Gate

      Second that. Temperature is useless on Bolt 2

    • calicyclist

      I’ve had so many ROAM units RMAd for different reasons and if the temp will work is kind of a tossup. Luckily on the most recent RMA my ROAM is working great for temp now. Just seems like they have bad QC for the temp sensors and don’t really care about it.

  20. JLD

    Excellent review as always! As a type 1 diabetic it’s cool interesting to see Supersapien compatibility, do you know if the Roam will also work with the Dexcom cgm?

    • Miniguitar

      Another T1D here – I’ve confirmed no support for any clinical cgms, only supersapiens. I have a wahoo currently, but will likely replace it with a Garmin, so I can more easily put bg on my head unit.

  21. Chris M Jennings

    I love that there’s a backup and restore now. Yes, setting up the computer was easy enough, but it was always a bit of a pain trying to remember exactly what fields went where only to realize I forgot something halfway through the first ride.

    • KevinC

      Yes, meant to add that too. Plus if you ever need to delete a sensor (sometimes the only way to get my Bolt2 to recognize my *wahoo* HR strap is to delete and re-add it), the head unit seems to randomly shuffle and add new fields so the restore function is useful there too.

    • calicyclist

      Just FYI – the fix for this is to remove and re-add the sensor from the device instead of from the ELEMNT app. When you remove it there it will ask you if you’d like to remove associated data fields and you can just say no. I’ve always been perplexed as to why this is both not the default functionality and something possible to do from the app.

  22. Barry H

    Thank you for another great review.
    As a disappointed Garmin 1040 solar owner, this could be the thing that saves me.
    However, have a small question that would keep me with Garmin.

    Do you know why on all the Wahoo computers, when you ride Strava Live Segments, you can only choose your GOAL on the gamin and not the Wahoo computers? I think wahoo only lets use use KOM or PR but all those riders who have spent much time setting personal SLS goals and chasing them knows this is really huge in helping to improve as a cyclist on segments.

    Any word on if Wahoo can simply pull the GOAL we set for strava live segments for this wahoo Roam V2 computer?
    Thanks for looking into if you do not know.

    Barry

    • Mario Müller

      Yes, Wahoo only lets you choose between PR and KOM. I personally would love to compete against my friends. As you can do with Garmin computers. Compete against your goal would also be nice.

    • Dan

      I’m also a disappointed Garmin 1040 owner. Just ordered the new Roam v2 to try out. What didn’t you like about your 1040 Solar?

      For me, I’ve had several issues with the touchscreen ending rides…it was raining yesterday and I lost 2/3 of my ride and I KNOW I didn’t hit end ride and discard. I honestly don’t know what happened, but it’s not in the head unit, didn’t sync to Strava, etc. I’ve had 2 other times where it ended the ride but saved the first part…so my ride was broken into 2 parts.

      But my biggest issue on my 1040 is turn-by-turn works about 70% of the time…I load courses, it loads and I can see it on the map screen…but the directions say “Head to YYY street” when that’s nowhere near where I am. If I go to my main screen (watts, distance, time, etc.), I get zero turn-by-turn. I basically have to look at the map the entire time. No matter how many times I stop course and re-load course, it still is screwy. And similar things when loading RWGPS or Strava Routes. Def could be user error here, but I’m trying the ROAM because I’m at the point where I just want something that works – record my ride correctly and don’t get me lost…that’s all i want right now.

    • Oprea George

      What firmware version do you have?

  23. Limey

    If Wahoo were really on it, they would have released a Wahoo Varia Radar and a GPS to compete with the Garmin Edge 130 plus at around about the £150-£180 price point and then left this Roam 2 a year for further development refined the casing (got rid of the bezels) and given it solar power a screen to edge screen and then maybe a touchscreen for the £450ish mark. Just think they have dropped off a cliff with this release. It’s just a bit Meeehh!

    • shenandoha

      a big part of Wahoo people do not want touch screens that can be a complete pain in the a.. when it rains or when you have long gloves.

  24. Geeceee

    Agree with the wrap-up. I think Hammerhead’s next release will be the one to watch – you’d have to assume that they will tackle the battery life complaint head on and that would give put them WAY out in front.

  25. Adam

    Looking forward to the improved climb page, once it’s ready. But overall it’s sad to see Wahoo not being able to close the gap. It’s very unlikely that I’ll stay with them, the feature set no longer justifies the price.

  26. Camillo

    “There’s likely no topic that stirs as much discussion and passion as GPS or heart rate accuracy.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure of this sentence… gradient lag is the hot topic nowadays!

  27. wahoo customer :/

    Just curious – did they actually fix the USB-C implementation on this release so that it works with chargers pretty much universally? Or did they blow it again and force you to use an A-to-C cable like on the Bolt v2? I think that’s definitely worth calling out in the review, either as an improvement from the Bolt, or as another disappointment.

    • Tim

      I can confirm that the Roam 2 will charge with a USB C only cable. I have mine plugged in right now, with a USB-C brick, using a generic 3rd party USB C to USB C cable.

    • Simon Lockwood

      My bolt2 works with a USB-C to USB-C cable (and charges more quickly than A-to-C). HOWEVER, it doesn’t seem to work with all A-to-C cables. No idea why this is and i can never remember which one in my house doesn’t work.

  28. Nerijus

    The only missing datafield is VAM per Lap (not per current second as it is now).

  29. Rob

    My experience of Garmin Edge vs Wahoo Elemnt computers seems to be completely different to yours. I had an Edge 520, switched to Bolt V1 for the maps, then to Edge 820 because I wanted on device routing for cycle touring, then to Edge 830 because the 820 was a pile of crap (possibly the worst product I have ever purchased). Then I got fed up with the Edge 830 poor battery life, hopeless rerouting, inability to sync e.g. having just built a new route in Komoot or whatever without ending the activity etc… etc… and switched to Bolt V2. There are some things I knew I would miss, e.g. ClimbPro, activity profiles, North Up while navigating, but everything is just so much easier with the Bolt V2. The display is great, battery life is fantastic, rerouting works, you can sync whenever you want. The idea that Garmin are so far ahead of Wahoo because they have loads of features Wahoo don’t only makes sense if they work, and honestly the only feature I have ever been impressed with is ClimbPro. That’s a hit rate of 1 out of 100 or so!

    • Simon Lockwood

      I switched from an Edge 530 to a Bolt2 because the HR and PM sensors kept dropping and re-connecting. According to the garmin forums, this bug still persists but Garmin have given up. Garmin even suggested to one customer that they should upgrade when the next suite of edge units are released. I find this an appalling attitude, especially when earlier FW versions did not have the bug.

      There is a bug on the B2 with a late turn notification. Other than that i find it very stable and do not miss the reduced feature list compared with the 530.

  30. Racine

    Why can’t the Roam show street names? I’ve found that the Roam works well for directions on routes loaded into the unit, but for exploring, it would help to have street names (like Garmin). I’ve kept a Garmin 1030 just for exploring both on the road and on gravel.

  31. Hi
    great review, like always.

    To me the v2 version of the roam is simply the roam I would have expected as v1. There is literally no feature, which could not be added 2019 with the first release.

    I am using the 1040 now for a few weeks and were really looking forward to this v2 release and will to sell the 1040 again to get the v2, but with this minor changes, I assume I will stay with with the 1040.

    “I haven’t heard any recent complaints about missing Wahoo data fields (that people want)”

    For me for example the data File “ETA” is something I am using constantly on the Garmin. Also to change the pages automatically is something I am using always, not speaking about the Climb Pro and Profiles you are already mentioning.

    I think Garmin has more than wahoo realized, that you will have to add features, like the Stamnia for example, or the improved battery life. Nearly everybody got already a gps unit and if you want to sell new ones, it is not enough to put new buttons on old devices.

    • Rob

      The stamina mode on Garmin is a perfect example of an unnecessary feature. It is not needed on Elemnt devices because they have great battery life even when all functions are running. The fact Garmin need you to turn off functions to eek out a bit more battery life is not something they should be proud of. (Furthermore, on my Edge 820, turning on stamina mode almost always made the device crash. Admittedly they at least made the software stable for the 830, but that was another £350 or so).

    • Sorry Rob, but I think you are mixing things up. On my mobile I only got this German version about what this feature is

      link to de.beatyesterday.org

      I thinks you mean some kind of power safe mode which is something completely different.

    • Yeah, Stamina is a physiological feature that roughly tracks how much energy you have left at a given pace (or power meter output as is the case here). It translates that to distance and time remaining till you bonk. It’s kinda neat, and in my testing with long durations (6-14 hours), works surprisingly well.

      There’s lots of things to quibble about when it comes to comparing units, but there’s really no debating that the Edge 1040 has far more battery life than the ROAM V2. And that’s without turning anything off or such. The starting point for the Edge 1040 Solar is 45 hours in multiband, and realistically you’re looking at far more than that in real-life. You can reach 100 hours in battery saver mode.

    • Rob

      Hi Christian, apologies and thanks for pointing out the misunderstanding, I was indeed thinking of the battery save mode and got the name confused with what my old Sony smartphone called the same feature.
      still sceptical – the last Garmin Edge I owned, the 830, gave me a number of metrics, like recommended recovery time, training status. They were pretty much useless. It couldn’t even estimate FTP correctly – uploading training data to Intervals.icu gave a much better estimate of what I could actually do when I did a long consistent effort. Maybe they have improved, but I have been disappointed so many times before.

    • Rob

      Fair point – my Garmin experience is the Edge 500 and 800 series which were very limited on battery life particularly after a couple of years. For what I do the Bolt2 battery is plenty but I appreciate many people so much longer rides than me!

    • ArT

      Only the Garmin cannot handle any further with the data field on the map. Only two data fields is useless. I waited for the Garmin to have at least 6 fields and a profile on the map screen. I did not live to see it and bought a roam, I am satisfied.

    • Steve

      But it’s not systemic. This is instead of a data field. The numbers are very small. You do not turn on the route profile on the map.

  32. Eric

    I’ve found the elevation profile of a route to be so bad it’s not worth using in the Roam V1. For example, I’ll be on a mtb ride and it just shows the elevation profile of that segment with no mileage below so it may look like a giant hill and be nothing or it may look like nothing and be giant. You also cannot see the elevation profile of the whole ride. Thinking of switching to a karoo 2.

  33. Franck VIllano

    Hello. Having both a Garmin and a Wahoo, I wonder why Wahoo doesn’t use the cassette and chainring numbers, instead to show “52/16” instead of “2/6”. I’ve always thought this was silly, especially since the Wahoo asks to record this cassette and chainrings informations.

    • Stephen Thomas

      Please not. I’d much rather easily know that I have three lower gears available than having to remember the actual gears in my cassette.

  34. Mario

    What I still miss in Wahoo Computers:

    – VO2max estimation. Why don’t they do that? It’s just algorhythm, isn’t it?
    – vs Following on Strava segments
    – flawless loading of routes. I regularly have endless route-loading (Strava, Komoot)
    – map auto-zooming relative to speed (like a car navi)

    Otherwise there really isn’t anything I truly miss.

  35. Jon Thompson

    As someone who has gone through:

    Elemnt (stolen and replaced by insurance with a roam)
    Roam (left on my trunk after a ride and ended up in a ditch somewhere, replaced by another Roam),
    Roam (battery failed and replaced by another roam under warranty )
    and finally the Roam I’m currently using

    The backup feature is a long time coming. Prior, there was NO way to transfer custom screens from one elemnt to another. After the last one I relegated to taking screen shots of the configuration screens to at least give me a way to manually restore my configurations. Being able to back up and restore my configurations means that I’m going to be at least happy I can recover my screens. So _I_ requested this feature.

  36. Nathan B

    £350 in the UK… complete joke

    Wahoo started off with a great product, their original computer, made it better and cheaper when they introduced the Bolt (which I own) but they have stagnated since then whilst their prices get higher and higher…

    • Mario

      To me the Bolt2 is not stagnation, but (slow, I agree) evolution. And prices do always get higher, as costs for raw materials, energy, rent, wages only go up too. But I agree 350£ is steep, I think the Bolt2 for 240£ has a lot better value. I don’t get what a Roam gives me apart from a bigger screen (ok, multiband but I could care less about that).

  37. TheStansMonster

    Hopefully they fixed the screen delamination and water ingress issue.

  38. G

    Sunset field is missing from Wahoo
    Also I dont find your test for the gradient lag proper testing, try to test this as Gplama on some real climbs, not short, not long,

    I have v2 also 1040 , even if i have Garmin ecoystem,Wahoo Bolt v2 starts to be better when you actually ride , even its smaller, non reflective display its a joy, gradient spot on, almost instant change
    Also i start to question all the gimmics from gamin, temperature is 4 C plus, gradient has lag, its unusable on short steap climbs

  39. John B

    Everyone’s looking at this and thinking the same thing: how did Wahoo not shrink the bezels after all these years? Kind of a joke. Hard to understand how this design doesn’t evolve even slightly.

  40. Benjamim

    Hi,

    I was hoping to read about a test following a gpx route loaded in the unit, to see if it is better than my Bolt 2, which I find is rather slow, at telling you it’s time to turn HERE/NOW! Specially while doing MTB…From your results I assume the GPS funtion is not that good, but I still wonder if the problem with the Bolt 2 is just a slow processor or a weak GPS receiver, if the Roam 2 would do better in this regard, or not…

    • G

      Why don’t you leave Wahoo device in map screen , and ride with that screen in front ?

      Still slow? Maybe you are to fast 🙂

      In road bike there is no real issue, or already know the courses , maybe on trail , off-road has diff behavior , still strange as Wahoo is advertised as “explorer” device.

    • Benjamim

      >Why don’t you leave Wahoo device in map screen , and ride with that screen in front ?
      That’s how I use it when followng a track

      >Still slow? Maybe you are to fast 🙂
      I wish 😉

    • Benjamim

      PS – Anyone knows if using a speed sensor helps in this regard?

  41. chillfmm

    The elephant in the room was the Roam v1:
    – It had a meager 4GB of storage with about only 2.7GB left for maps, routes and activities. To save space the maps had routing metadata but no DEM data so you only got elevation while routing if the route was not calculated on the device. It was a promised functionality but was never delivered.
    – Its processor was slow and it showed in many situations where you could notice it was “stressed”.
    – Its GPS chipset was mediocre. Under moderately difficult conditions (as for example some light tree cover) it lost a lot of accuracy and precision.
    – The front three buttons were erratic and not consistent in their operation. (it vas solved in Roam v1.1 hardware revision with a nice “clicky” feel)

    The Roam v2 solves all those shortcomings plus it adds a multi-band GNSS chipset and has even a better screen (the original already had almost no glare, had great contrast and was a joy to use outdoors).

    If you do not need all the bells and whistles is a perfectly good GPS that nails the basics: easy operation, compatible with lots of sensors, adequate navigation, easy to use workouts and has a great screen.

    And yes, those bezels are huge and i wish that the screen was a bit bigger and wider since it only really adds a row of fields compared to the Bolt v2 (it´s “only” taller).

    • Tobi

      Does ROAM V2 solve the biggest failure of ROAMv1, i.e. GPS hangs after 250 km or 10-12h driving? For ULTRA driving, I have a serious problem with ROAMv1. Wahoo told me that the ROAM counter is up to 200 km for rides. Just why they don’t write it on the sales folders.

  42. John

    The only thing I’m interested in is the CPU speed — how responsive is it, especially compared to the BOLT V2? The lag on the BOLT is so unbearable I can’t believe they shipped it like that. If this new one is equally as bad, I’ll probably consider switching to Garmin since they clearly don’t intend on addressing it.

    • g

      What do you mean by lag?
      This is very vague

    • John

      Input lag. When you first boot up the BOLT and tap to go to different pages, it sits there for a good 5 seconds doing nothing before eventually switching. Strava Live Segments are also useless, as the alerts are 20-50 ft late.

    • G

      I have check and after boot I dont have any issue with input lag as you have , or lets say I have normal lag 0.1 mil between pages
      I wish that I can scrool left and right….

      Strava segments I did not yet try as I dont have premium and dont know if is posible to copy segments manually to device as Garmin
      But elevation profile and gradient are more helpfull that on Garmin device
      What I want to say that also garmin has his own glitches
      Garmin instead is adding alot of feature without fixing old ones

  43. GH

    I am with Rob. I have had many, many bike computers, and live in an area with a very active cycling community, and almost everyone I know has gone wahoo. It’s 75% if not 80% wahoo now. These are serious cyclists who want a device that doesn’t crash, records GPS, HR, Power, uploads to Strava and TrainingPeaks, has good battery life, and tracks a course every so often. And when they go to Europe for a trip they can download maps easily. If you’re young, buy the BOLT. If you’re older (bad eyes), buy the ROAM. This ROAM v2 isn’t perfect (bezel), but i am guessing it works pretty well. I’ll buy one.

  44. Lauri

    What are the biggest advantages to have a bike computer in 2022 compared to just have a good watch (Garmin 955 for example) and then a mobile phone for maps and directions with a way better and bigger screen with proper maps etc?

    • Andreas

      The “way better screen” isn’t so great in direct sunlight, phone get’s very, very hot if you crank the brightness all the way up and battery runtime isn’t great either.
      And despite most phones beeing water resistant, touchscreens aren’t great in the rain.

  45. KerkepadRider

    Great news on the improved GPS – this was a big shortcoming of the Roam v1 compared to Garmin 1040, especially for Strava Live Segments. Strongly considering an upgrade as Wahoo Roam v1’s implementation of Strava Live Segments is much better than Garmin e.g. Roam v1 can manage multiple overlapping segments (Garmin picks first one only), not restricted to number of Live Segments (Garmin limited to only 100, and even then some don’t activate). Roam v1 also has a more useful and flexible presentation of segment metrics on screen.

    • Barry

      Yes, but if you are one who uses Strava Live Segments and who uses the great GOAL feature on the website to set goals. They will not show up at all while riding with a Wahoo.
      That alone makes Garmin better if you use SLS and shoot to improve with goals and not just PR’s or KOM.

    • Rob

      I agree that showing your goal is a great feature but that alone makes the Garmin better? Every other consideration is secondary to that?

    • Barry

      no, I would not say that makes the gamin better,
      But if someone was buying a computer and deciding which one Roam 2 or 1040 for example it is things like this they never know until after they buy it or follow these forums.

      It is small things like this that riders want that I guess bring them to one or the other.
      I hate the gradient lag in 1040 in both the data field and recently on Climb pro but love some other things.

      that is life I guess

  46. mf22433

    I just got the Roam2 and I tried the new restore function from my Bolt2 backup. The Roam2 automatically paired all the sensors that were defined on the Bolt2 (very nice) however the Bolt2 pages (my customised layouts) have not been transposed to the Roam2. Is this as expected?

    • G

      nobody knows how the backup /restore works
      maybe is working only for same model ? I dont know

    • mf22433

      For sure it worked for the sensors 🙂 they were all in place after the restore (with the names I set on the Bolt2). Good enough 🙂
      I can imagine that the fact that the Roam can display more fields than the Bolt can make it tricky to restore across different models.

      I still have to test on the road but I like what I see with the Roam: with the latest firmware it boots a few seconds faster than the Bolt, the GPS is reacting faster as well and the screen is even more readable: it actually has a whiter tint than the Bolt when active.

      I owned and compared many: Edge 830, Edge 1040, Karoo 2, Bolt 1, Bolt 2 and now Roam 2. Until now my choice was the Bolt 2… I shall most likely move to the Roam 2.

  47. matthias

    Really looking forward to the segment summit feature update coming mid to late october. Climb Pro is the only Garmin feature I miss.

    • Barry

      Just don’t set a strava live segment segment goal.
      That won’t work.
      Why would any cyclist create a goal and try to reach it?
      Nice going wahoo. Aweful on that.

  48. Dennis

    Thanks for the nice review. I am using Wahoo for five yrs and really like it vs Garmin (I once brought back a 830 to cycle shop as I could not get used to Garmin). What I did like though on Garmin is that you can show the actual gears displayed in numbers you are using (combined with DI2). Wahoo only visualizes on which place of cassette you are riding. Is this an option that will be added/has been added on Wahoo with this new release?

    • calicyclist

      This just simply isn’t accurate. Wahoo has two data fields for the gears. One shows you numbers and the other shows you a visualization. Pick the non-visualization one if you want numbers. Has worked with Boltv1, ROAMv1, etc.

    • Simon Lockwood

      I think the two of you are talking at cross-purposes. I think wahoo displays the number as in which chain ring / sprocket eg 2-5 for 2nd chain ring / 5th sprocket, wheras Dennis is looking for the number of teeth eg 36-28. The number of teeth per sprocket can be entered into the wahoo app, so the data is there. I personally prefer the current data field, but each to their own.

  49. Adam

    Hm, a few weeks after release and no sign of updates that include the new features (not even in Beta it seems). There are a few business rumors of a liquidity crunch at Wahoo and credit rating agencies have been downgrading their financial outlook for a while now. I wonder how long will they still be around :/

    • KevinC

      The fate of any business that doesn’t focus on it’s core business like buying a second-tier software platform (Wahoo), trying to break into a saturated hardware market (Zwift bike), or launching a clothing line (looking at you ENVE). More isn’t always better.

  50. Sean K.

    Good review. I’m thinking of updating my Roamv1. Whilst I agree that the pace of feature changes by competitors is quick, is that all there is? Are we just going to have a world where the most loaded device (however buggy that may be btw) is the king of all? Is the winner the company with the most flavours of bike computer ice cream to choose from? That’s not really my interest.

  51. Simon Lockwood

    According to wahoo’s FW release notes, the update of 31st October added support for summit segments

    • Giles

      the reliability is through the floor with the latest FW on the original roam…. had to reset 3 times on a ride today. Screen goes completely blank (except for Varia) and just became useless.

    • Simon Lockwood

      I see that there’s a new FW out already (at least for Boltv2). Hopefully this means unexpected bugs have been rectified.

  52. carlo leal

    I will be using the wahoo roam v2 in the philippines specifically in the island of Negros Occidental will I be able to download my island under Asia download?

  53. Eelco

    Ray, thanks for another great and detailled review! I have one specific question for the Roam v2.

    I use several bikes with different power meters (4iiii gen2, Stages gen2 and Stages gen3). Unfortunately I have problems zero offsetting the Stages units since I started using the Bolt v2. Using the orignal Bolt, I had no problems calibrating/zero-offsetting all three units.

    Bolt v2 a year ago (since first product launch)
    4iiii – flawless calibration
    Stages gen2 – calibration not possible
    Stages gen3 – calibration not possible

    Bolt v2 after FW upgrade (summer 2022)
    4iiii – flawless calibration
    Stages gen2 – flawless calibration
    Stages gen3 – calibration still not possible

    I was wondering – since I guess you do own a Stages gen3 unit – if you share your experience with calibration of this power meter using the Roam v2?