Looking for advice on a bike computer

Wondering what people use, I am going to ask Santa for one but I think he will need some guidance.

Really want something that shows the metrics required for racing while also being able to plot routes for outdoor rides when I don’t know the area.


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Garmin 520 plus bundle

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I have the ELEMENT and sync with RideWithGPS for all my rides


I use the Garmin 820 and i like it.
The display can show enough data and it has routing functions what is very nice.

I have an 820 that is coming up on two years old. It works fine, but a few annoyances

I don’t care for the touch screen - the tactile buttons on the 520 are a better user experience in nearly ever case
The battery life after two years leaves much to be desired. I get about four hours of life from it now, which is not enough for many of the events that I do. Battery was fine at about 6-8 hours until about 18 months of use

Minor things in the grand scheme of things, but thinking about replacing with a 520 or a Bolt

+1 for Elemnt Bolt

I had the Garmin Edge 820. Too buggy and the touchscreen was a pain to operate, especially in winter with thicker gloves.

The Bolt syncs with strava and ridewithgps for your routes. Very easy and intuitive to set up via the app (unlike Garmin where you have to scroll through a hundred tricky touchscreen menus trying not to select the wrong option). You can customise data screens with whichever training metrics you like, and zoom in and out to see more or less data. And it’s loads easier than the Garmin to create routes “on the fly” - you just search / select where you want to go via the map on the smartphone app, then it plots a route and sends it straight to your device.


Wahoo ELEMNT. And winter/offseason should be a great time to get one. Possible sales with REI.

If battery life is important to you I’d be thinking about the Bolt. My 520 got to the state that your 820 was in - barely making 4 hours on occasion. It was OK initially, new I got a 20% battery warning an hour before the end of 12hr TT and that was with the backlight on 20%. This last season I got the same 20% warning after 3 hours of a 100mile TT with everything off other than the PM and HR.

I bought a Bolt a couple of months ago and have been impressed so far. The battery life far exceeds the 520 and has the same functionality as far as I can see. It look a little bit of getting used to having used Garmins for a good number of years.

@Simo429 Sounds like either the 520 or Bolt would suit your needs OK. One other thing to mention about the mapping issue is that the maps on my 520 are relatively local (can be changed when you move regions but is a bit of an aggravation) whereas the Bolt came preloaded with worldwide maps. That may or may not be of significance to you and things might be different with the newer 520 plus, I’ve not used that.

I am very happy with the minimalism of the Wahoo Bolt and the simple but clear map.
If you need true routing (or map movement) capabilities on the unit itself (without smartphone supprt) then Garmin might be the better option.

If you have some devices on your list, I would recommend the in depth product reviews of DC Rainmaker, real source of truth.

This for example is a year old but maybe he will put a refreshed overview for the comming season…

I got the Elemnt Bolt for Christmas last year and I’m really happy with it.

Plus points for me are the live tracking feature (Which helps my wife have peace of mind), the app is really intuitive and lets you customise your display pretty well.

You can use an auto route building option if you haven’t preloaded one which is also nice.

I’m happy with my Elemnt Bolt too. My main reason for getting it was navigation and battery life while using navigation. I did a 200km audax recently (ride time just sub 8 hours, sub 9 overall), with turn by turn navigation, power meter, speed sensor and hrm connected. The bolt was still showing 37% battery.

User reviews of the 520 when I was buying, called out the lack of battery life in such circumstances, and then the 520plus didn’t appear to address this at all.

It syncs with Strava/ TR, and up until this weekend, a manual import of the .fit file to Garmin Connect was no issue. I sync the bolt to dropbox, and then manually import, like we used to have to do with TrainerRoad.

I use Connect as my workout storage, and it syncs to My Fitness Pal, plus for commutes/ runs/ swims/ other activities I use my Garmin watch.

Another “ditto” for the wahoo Elemnt or bolt. Both have been simple to use and setup and navigation works well but for me more imoortsntly for me has been how the pages can be setup and customized so easily.

+1 for the Element Bolt

I love the way you can customize your pages with the accompanying app- I find it very user friendly and it keeps the operation of the head unit nice and easy.

I like my Elemnt; fair warning it has nearly everything you would want, except a timer.

Seriously, there is no timer function. A bit annoying. Hopefully they add it in someday.

Does anyone have any experience with the leyzne products?

Love my Bolt…works all the time. Ive had several garmins and they are always buggy.

I’m a Garmin fan. I’ve both a 520 and 820. I wouldn’t bother with the 820 - the touchscreen is a pain!!

I’ve used both Garmin and Wahoo Bolt extensively. There are some definite pro’s and con’s with both.

The Bolt is small, aero, and extremely user friendly to set up. Everything is so easy to set up from your smartphone. It also integrates beautifully with RideWithGPS. I’d go to RidewithGPS website, create a route using their very good tools, and then be instantly able to sync the ride over to my Wahoo via my smartphone. Battery life is great, screen is easy to read. But the downside is that it doesn’t integrate with a few things well. I became a big fan of the Garmin Varia rear radar this year after Nate mentioned it on a podcast. I ride a lot of quiet country roads and the Varia has made me feel so much more confident knowing when vehicle were approaching. Initially I used the Varia head unit, so had the Bolt and the Varia head unit mounted, but ultimately went back to Garmin so that it was all on one unit. The other aspect of the Bolt that was not as good as the Garmin was the DI2 integration. I like using the buttons on my shifters to change the display page, something that works well on Garmin. I also have the gear ratios/shift mode displayed on one of my screen when using Garmin, but I don’t think the Bolt offers this.

With Garmin you have a wide product line range of head units, so you can pick based on budget and features. It’s more of a pain to get your routes onto the Garmin with the default requiring you to directly connect the Garmin to your compute and sync with Garmin Express. There are workarounds though, and I used dynamic.watch. Their app on the Garmin let’s me pull in routes that I’ve created (or imported form RidewithGPS) and loaded on the dynamic.watch website directly onto my 1030. I also recently started playing with the “light network” feature on Garmin after I started using a small Bontrager Ion 200 RT daytime light. I’ve found it a little bit buggy and the light network seems to spontaneously disconnect and connect during rides, but the light keeps working.

Some of the Garmin units offer the “Firstbeat” fitness metrics. They aren’t ground breaking but it is somewhat interesting to see after a ride how much aerobic and anaerobic benefit it supposedly provided.

One other thought is whether something like a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus my serve you well. The display is smaller than most head units, but the Fenix’s provide most of the same features that a Garmin head unit provides, plus its a great multisport device, sleep tracker, etc. They were pretty expensive when launched, but I’ve seen a few sites have the new Plus series on for 15% recently.

Supposedly it does, although it was news to me. Going to try and set it up this evening.

Nice that they added that. It looks like screen switching with the buttons on shifters now is supposed to work too.

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