I have both the Wahoo Bolt and the Garmin Edge 830, and I’ve been using them simultaneously for a few weeks now to see which of them I prefer. You can’t go wrong either way; they’re both well functioning, with distinct advantages and disadvantages.
The 530 is different from the 830 in a few respects, so keep that in mind when reading the following.
What I think Wahoo Bolt is better at:
- User friendliness (all done via your smartphone, especially smooth for setup and customization of screens).
- TrainerRoad Outside workouts (pausing, resetting intervals, etc.).
- Readability on the bike (the ability to zoom in and out of no. of KPI’s on the screen is brilliant, and sun light doesn’t affect readability at all).
- Sync of segments and routes from Strava are swift.
- Weight (only relevant for those of us with an OCD in regards to grams saved).
- Price. The Bolt is a rather mature product by now, and that is also reflected in the price.
What I think Garmin Edge 830 is better at:
- Navigation (although I think the 530 is inferior to 830 in this regard).
- Graphical displays (power, HR).
- Strava Live Segments (it seems Garmin better adjusts expected time in accordance with the segment profile, whereas Wahoo seems to simply use average speed for the segment).
- Special features such as incident alert if you crash (has come in handy once for me!) or if your bike is being moved while you’re inside a coffee shop.
Negative things about the Wahoo:
- Navigation isn’t all that (but if that is important, consider Wahoo Roam instead of the Bolt).
- Design. It feels a bit plastic and old school compared to Garmin’s rather sexier hardware.
Negative things about the Garmin:
- Price. The 830 is significantly more expensive than the Wahoo, without adding much in regards to being a pure training tool.
- Setup and adjustments of screens is cumbersome (although easier with touch screen than buttons on the 530).
- Garmin’s firmware updates are not bullet proof, and although I haven’t had any bad experiences with 830 in regards to sudden freezes or errors, I have had plently with prevous Garmin computer. Fingers crossed for none of that with 830!
Elements I think they for practical purposes are identical:
- Upload to various training diaries (Strava, TP, etc.).
- Battery life (both will need an external power source if you plan for a slow everesting).
- Accuracy of GPS, connectivity to external sources.
- Smartphone alerts.