Existing BOLT user upgrade to ROAM?

Simply as the title states, who’s upgraded from the BOLT/WAHOO to the Roam, why, and was it worth it? I like the idea of a larger display with color, but I don’t know if its worth selling my BOLT for and spending the extra cash.

One thing I don’t like are the extra large bezels around the screen, but I could get over that if there are some worthwhile upgrades from the BOLT that I currently have. One gripe I’ve always had with the BOLT was rather poor GPS location tracking in the woods, even though it uses GPS and GLONASS. Is the Roam any better in this regard? The BOLT misses segments due to GPS lines being off course.

DCRainmaker’s review makes the unit seem overpriced and lacking any features deserving of that price

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I had no intention to upgrade based on the reviews, but my wife got a bike and needed a computer, so I gave her my Bolt and bought a Roam.

I do agree that the bezel is too large, but I also was surprised at how much I prefer the new (larger) screen. I have bad eyes, and it does help. The color coding on maps is also nice. Battery life is longer than the Bolt. I don’t really feel the need to charge after every ride any longer. It also has an extra set of configurable lights on the left while the Bolt only had the top row. Lastly, I do like the ambient light sensor. No more fiddling to turn the light on/off during changing conditions.

One downside. Some mounts that worked fine with the Bolt were a problem with the Roam due to size causing it to touch the handle bar, so I had to buy a couple extra K-Edge units.

I’m not sure I would spend the money if I didn’t need a new computer, but if I did, I would go Roam over Bolt.

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I have a Bolt and I got the Roam recently, and I really really like it!

The display is much better than the Bolt’s - which was pretty good already. Navigation from Strava routes is excellent. Varia radar integration is great with the color as you get a reassuring strip of green on the screen when there’s nothing behind you.

The DCrainmaker review perhaps misses some of the subtleties that you appreciate when you use it a lot. Also the Roam improved a lot in terms of functionality with the recent firmware updates.

I still use the Bolt on my MTB as I look at the screen a lot less with that. But for road riding I’m very pleased with the Roam purchase.

The Roam has come a long way since release under the hood. Look for posts/videos/reviews posted well after the initial first looks. The navigation/routing has been beefed up and ANT+ Radar support is a huge deal for the riding I do. The value of the unit has changed, imo.

If I’m heading out for a ride and need to grab a head unit, I have no issues grabbing the Roam for what I need.


Is this bike computer a valid option for MTB riders as well? I have the Garmin 530 on my radar but some of the features of the Wahoo Roam like the hassle free synchronization between your Smartphone and the device for route update are really nice.

I have ridden a fair bit with both computers, and I’ve concluded that for me, the Bolt is the better choice because of the lighter weight and that I don’t need neither the better navigation or bigger battery. If you are in need of navigation, or plan to ride for extended periods without being able to recharge, then Roam is the better choice. As far as GPS accuracy goes, I have experienced anything that suggests that the one differs from the other.

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I rode with a BOLT for two years and I am now using a ROAM. The ROAM is nice, it has a great screen. However the BOLT is practically the same experience for a lot less cash.

I actually upgraded to a Garmin 530, which was a horrific experience, so I swapped it for a ROAM after 2 weeks of problems.

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I upgraded and I only ride mountain and fat bikes.


The flat screen is much easier to see.
The larger screen can display larger font and more data.
The ambient light sensor.

The larger physical size has gotten hit more often when I crash on the mountain.
It seems to have almost the exact same functionality as my upgraded bolt.

I really haven’t used the mapping feature for how I ride and that seems to be one of the main reasons to get it.

I think it may have more benefit for road/gravel riders.

If you are mountain biking and cost conscious, the bolt is worth looking at.

One thing I wish they would add to either unit is sync via network. More than a few times I’ve forgotten to sync the unit at home after creating routes or copying them to my RWGPS bank and then driven all over trying to find a WiFi signal in a McDonald’s parking lot so I could get the routes/segments syncd with my Wahoo. I don’t know why they have to broadcast this over WiFi only and can’t send it via BT from the phone to the Wahoo or whatnot

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You can sync ridewithgps routes directly from your phone to the bolt - I assume the same for the roam

With the bolt you open the route file on your phone (I have downloaded them from ridewithgps or have them emailed to me) and open it with the bolt app - it will load directly to the unit (assuming they are paired).

Not quite the ‘bulk load’ option you get when you sync from the bolt directly connected to wifi, but very handy when someone sends you a link to a route when you’re not at home

You should be able to just create a Hot Spot (Wi-Fi) with your smartphone and connect your Wahoo device with it. At least I assume this works.

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I did try that and it did not work.

For some reason I could not even get that to load.

Have you ever had success with that way? It’s never failed for me - might be an issue with your setup instead of a feature request for Wahoo

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I’ll have to try it again and see

If you’re downloading your routes as .gpx files, store them in a cloud (icloud, google drive, onedrive etc.) and sync them via your phone to the element app or use ridewithgps or komoot and sync via web. The bolt will have to be connected via bt to your phone though

You can do it over BT. Pair the unit to your phone using the wahoo elemnt app. Tap the routes section on the phone, select the route you want, and it pipes it over to the head unit when you select it. No need for a wifi connection at all.

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It doesn’t unfortunately. DCR even mentions in his review that you can’t use a public WiFi like McDonald’s or Starbucks. It’s a bit of a head scratcher, I’m not transmitting confidential data, it’s a GPX file, but that’s Wahoo

I ended up getting a roam for $320 guy used it once and went back to his 820. For that price I can justify a larger display and some extras will be nice, my BOLT is already sold. I still think it’s overpriced at 379 but I bought it right so when Wahoo makes a better unit down the road I’ll be able to sell this and minimize my losses

I get your point, and I do think it needs to be a bit cheaper to be competitive, but to play devil’s advocate…you’re basically saying that $60 took it from being overpriced to being a fair price for a used unit. In the cycling world, $60 won’t buy much.

Just for info, if you have a route already loaded into the Element app then you can push it to the computer via bluetooth. If you have a GPS route on your phone as a file then there is no way to get it into the app without a data connection and therefore no way to get it onto your bike computer. It is possible to transfer a file directly to your bike computer via cable from PC or Mac.
For the adventure riders out there, if you think you’ll need to route plan off grid then the Elemnt/Bolt is not a good choice.