GPS Computers....... Choices, Choices!

OK, with the new releases i’ve decided it’s time for me to upgrade from my trusty Edge 705 which has seen many year superb service and although it’s not dead yet i’ve managed to save up enough for a change!!!

Right when i was about to purchase a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt both Garmin and Wahoo have bought out their new offerings.

The Wahoo Roam is a little out of my price range unfortunately but with a little extra saving the Edge 530 is within reach by the release date.

The big question is… Which do i go for???

Depends (a lot!) on what you need.

Maps? If so, routing? Do you really need that, or you ride in places you know?
Power meter support? Dual, advanced metrics, etc?
Workout? Or just intervals?

My own situation (just pulled the trigger yesterday): maps = nice to have, routing not needed; no power meter, but future support nice to have; workouts needed. So - Edge 130 would have been ok, except no workouts; Edge 520 is now reduced as it is end-of-life, does everything I need (with OpenStreetMap added in); Edge 530 adds loads of things I don’t need, and too expensive. Conclusion: 520. Cheap.

Bolt user here, it’s a good one. Roam is a waste of money relative to the existent Bolt, IMO. As @rocourteau said, it largely depends on the features you need. Varia support? Maps and turn-by-turn? etc. Check out @dcrainmaker and his site as he does deep-dive reviews on all of these things. He’s the go-to-guy here.

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@GPLama also has thoughts on the devices.

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For sure!

I’m looking at the Lezyne Maga C. I have the Edge 520 now, but it’s having some issues, and I’m finding that it’s missing a feature I’d like…routing to a specific point during a ride. It also has a crazy long battery life. I did a 50 mile MTB ride over the weekend starting with a full battery on the Edge. I ended the ride with 10% battery. Kinda sad.


You might also check out what Alison talks about for her GPS head unit in her interview. Sounds impressive in terms of battery life, routing, and support, and less than either the Wahoo or Garmin offerings if I’m not mistaken.

Alison Tetrick interview


My MO with fitness tech is to use mine to death (which usually spans several new generations of tech) and then when it’s time to upgrade I buy one generation back from the current.

That way I get a huge technological upgrade of several generations worth of feature development relative to the equipment I’ve been using but I get it at a much lower price point than what the latest and greatest would cost.

Case in point, right now if I was to upgrade my cycling computer I would buy an 820 or 520 Plus or Bolt rather than one of the new 830/530/Roam generation.

That’s just my 2 cents. And coincidentally, there’s a pretty good deal going on for the 820 right now if you’re interested in that model.


… and a lot less teething problems as well.

I like your approach (obviously, since it’s what I did).

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Wahoo Bolt is still the best value.


I do this with cars, bike parts, bike helmets, shoes, all kinds of tech… and for the same reason.

Which reminds me, my half-price Evade should be here today. :slight_smile:


I started with a bolt. Gave up on it with incredibly poor routing. It worked fine setting up long courses on a 3rd party app (ride with gps). But after 500 km it lost tack of the route and would not pick it up again. I rode through many check points and it just kept saying I was getting further away from the start. The on phone routing was terrible and I couldnt get a good route out of it. I tried many ways to get it to work and ended up just using google maps on my phone. I then switched to a 820 and found its routing to be much better but still missing a lot. I bought a bontrager 1030 as they go on sale often around 20% off and its better for my old eyes. I would have bought a 830 if I knew it was coming but I had already picked up the 1030 and the varia radar. I will try never to ride again without the varia as I feel much safer. Seems I only get about 5-8 seconds notice on the highway but I am satisfied with it. Im on a smaller frame so I think the radar is blocked a bit. Im going to get a seat mount printed for a specialized seat. It should give me a few more seconds notice.

Good luck in your choice.

This is just me but turn by turn I a bit annoying. I really don’t need a computer beeping at me every 10 seconds about an upcoming turn. I’m out there to enjoy a ride.

All I really want to know is if I’m off course or not which the bolt does pretty well. Load up the course in Strava. It’ll sync to your bolt and the only beep when you’re off course. Minimal sounds.

You have to watch the map of course, but I suppose I’m the weird one and that I don’t like my car GPS Sound on either.

The great thing is with the recent releases by Wahoo and Garmin, the Facebook forums have been filled with people off loading their computers to make room for the new devices. I suggest at least the Garmin 820 Edge (520 is the smaller version) or newer. The Wahoo Element or Bolt are also great devices as well. I’ve used both and like them both. But all my friends and other riders close to me use Wahoo which I why I use it now.

With the new releases from Wahoo and Garmin, I just picked up a new Bolt at a great price. I don’t really need the advanced features offered by the 530/830/Roam and was actually close to getting an Edge 130, but then along came this deal and picked up the Bolt for less than what I would have paid for the Edge 130. :grin: