Hammerhead Karoo 2

Yeah that seems like a good workaround. Also useful for weekend camping trips I guess. But honestly, I prefer things to just work, without workaround. That being said, I realise that you have to compromise and go for the ‘bigger picture’, so to speak.
I’m still riding around with an old Sigma Rox 11. It looks like an old tamagotchi (if anyone remembers those :stuck_out_tongue: ) and it has the graphics to match it. So any head unit would be an upgrade for sure. I just struggle to find “the one”.

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I’ve been wondering if the ability to sideload Android apps might include the ability to load (and run workouts from) TR. (Not that I’m in the market for a new head unit, but seemed like an interesting angle.)

So I commented on a hammerhead post today, I asked if I would be able to upload tr workouts directly and run them on the head unit, their reply was “not at launch, but it’s in our plans. You can sync from training peaks”.

I don’t currently have a training peaks account. So how would that work? I have to get a training peaks account, sync my tr calendar with training peaks, and then upload through training peaks?

I tried side-loading TR on my Karoo, as have others. The performance is—to use my favorite word of summer 2020—janky. Duct tape in. Duct tape out.

That said, the K1 is running on an older version of Android (6 / Marshmallow) than the K2 (8 / Oreo). Maybe side-loading TR on the K2 will work better than on the K1. However, native support for TR is in the pipeline, so hopefully side-loading TR is not a concern.

On the karoo 1, as it ended up being useless for me as a bike computer, I tried to sideload TR onto it as a TR head unit. It is essentially an android phone. I got it on and running but it didn’t really work. There were syncing problems. The data stuttered the time signal was a mess so the control loop on the trainer was all over the place; lagging for an age or leading. The in-ride Chadisms came out in some wacky font that ran them off the screen and made them unreadable. All in all that was a no. Things change the system is more robust if you believe the release notes; might be worth another go, but frankly I can’t be bothered.

They do promise a lot of capability that eventually arrives, just not when they promised.

I quite like Garmin but I have had nothing but trouble with the various units I’ve had over the years. I recently tried a Wahoo Roam and unlike, it seems, most people, I didn’t really like it for a number of reasons. Most of the pre-release reviews of the Karoo 2 from DC Rainmaker, Cycling Tips and others are pretty positive and I like what I’ve seen of it so far. They’re offering a 45 day money back guarantee so I figure there’s nothing to lose and I’ve just placed my pre-order.

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What did you not like about the Roam?

There was nothing I needed the Roam to do that it couldn’t and my reasons for not liking it were subjective and probably a bit nitpicky but they were:

  • I found it difficult to quickly find the numbers I was looking for even though I had put things in roughly the same places I have them on my Garmin. I think that might have been to do with the lack of contrast between the quite grey background and the black text. I tried having a zoomed in view to show just a few key numbers but invariably I would want to see something that was not shown, which meant zooming back out or having more pages, which meant pressing the buttons (see next point)

  • I found the buttons difficult to press while on the bike. Given I tried it in the summer, I’d hate to imagine how awkward they would be with winter gloves on. Again, I’m probably being picky because millions of people obviously manage. I just find Garmin so much easier to swipe the page via the touchscreen.

  • I much prefer the way Garmin works with Activity Profiles as opposed to turning on and off data pages via the phone app for the Wahoo.

  • On Garmin, I like that I can just long-tap a data field to display something different. Granted I don’t use that very often but occasionally I think, “I want to know such and such” (sometimes because someone asks me a metric that I don’t normally display) and within 30 seconds and without stopping to get my phone out, I have the data. From what I’ve read about Karoo 1 and DCR’s comment that the software on Karoo 2 will be the same as Karoo 1 (provided the hardware can support it), I think it will be possible to configure the data fields online or on the device itself, whereas on the Roam, which has no touch screen, you can only configure the data fields via the phone app.

  • Roam shows HR zones only as a full number. To be fair, I’m know myself pretty well so I generally know whether I’m closer to 4.1 or 4.9 and I also know my absolute HR values at each zone but it’s just that bit easier on Garmin to glance and know exactly where I am in a zone and have a pretty good gauge of what efforts I can afford to put in.

  • I didn’t like the way it looked. I’ve heard some people say that the matt screen on the Roam is easier to see in bright sunshine than the shiny screen of an Edge 1000 but I live in the UK and even on our brightest days, I’ve never had an issue being able to see my Edge screens. For me, the matt screen with black text and a rather unattractive casing just didn’t make me love the device. I could have lived with it if I’d been happy with everything else but overall, I just didn’t like it.

I’m hoping the Karoo 2 will be more to my liking but if it’s not, I’ll probably bite the bullet and upgrade my dying Edge 1000 (kaput battery, won’t connect to my phone and won’t sync over wifi) and reluctantly get an Edge 1030.


I do agree with you on the activity profiles. 99 times out of 100, I prefer using the phone interface, but that once or twice when I go out for a mtb ride and the road screen is turned on, it’s a pain having to use the phone.

Each have advocates and detractors. Garmin has 90+% of the market and at least that portion of the unhappy users. Hammerhead and Wahoo proportionally less.
Karoo has the greatest screen, good maps, good GPS functions and more transparent development with good customer service.
They had a rough start but plug along making steady improvements.
K2 may be awesome with 2 BT radios and SIM for GMS, BUT, it will take a while to know.
Garmin takes 6-12 months to get a product matured, and releases before its ripe as a rule.
Wahoo has its lovers , but fewer features, and, like the whole field, lots to sort out, if the forums are to be believed.
The Karoo is the Apple of bike computers. The Apple ll, working on the Mac
Android and BT to phones is still a ways from maturing in all the brands.
Best approach is to use multiple devices that perform out of the box.
If you want features you gonna carry creatures.

What issues does Wahoo have to work out? I’m not aware of any. It’s a pretty mature product.

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For me, Wahoo Roam has been terrible over this summer (before this spring it was ok since initial launch). Workouts are usually ok but pre- and post-workout actions not so much:

  • syncing workouts to headunit didn’t work (fixed)
  • uploading completed workouts to Strava didn’t work (fixed)
  • battery drain during workout (fixed)
  • zooming in to single interval at workout screen doesn’t work anymore (not fixed)
  • battery drain while device is turned off (still an intermittent issue: charging to 100%, turning on couple days later and battery is at 5%)

Add there 2x TickrX that worked just 1 month, 2x Kickr trainers that started strongly vibrating after 6 months. Currently i’m heading indoors with fresh replaced Kickr. Let’s see what winter brings but it is unlikely i’m willing to cope with another failure.

It DID used to do this, right?! For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to zoom in to the intervals graph, because I could swear it used to do that. The whole graph is completely pointless when you’re doing tightly spaced intervals and can’t see how many you have left to go in the set.

Especially the bolt. Not sure about roam, but bolt is a rock solid device. Contrast with the weekly drumbeat of Garmin crashes I read about in my Strava feed, guys running backup devices, etc in 15000 miles including many centuries and cold weather training, not one lost bit of data or crash. I know many ex Garmin users who moved to bolt for this reason and will never go back.

When I see that kind of track record on the new karoo, and if they support planned workouts and varia, it could be interesting. Long way to get there but remembering the beeper is a start this time :sweat_smile:

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I could be wrong, as I don’t have a Karoo. But they do support planned workouts (just not direct from trainerroad, they must come from training peaks) and the Karoo does work with garmin varia.