Looking for advice on a bike computer

+1 on the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt, I’ve had one for 6 months or so and love it. Easy to use, clear screen, great accompanying app (in my opinion) with plentiful customisation options for data screens. Love the ability to zoom in and out of data pages, increasing or reducing the number of data fields on the screen. Good battery life, did some fairly long days in the Alps in August and the battery was never marginal.

My ten cents:

I’ve owned and used a great deal the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, it is excellent and very easy to use.

I now use the Edge 520 plus, for the purposes of navigation I think it is superior to the Bolt. I’ll keep it brief but the Bolt is just not optimized imho for navigation and the 520+ does a very good job of displaying maps and giving directions for a small computer. My first time using the 520+ for navigation I had zero issues following a preplanned but new to me route, very intuitive.

I wear a Fenix 5 everyday, I do not like it as a road bike computer. I do use it to record MTB rides without a powermeter in places where I don’t have to navigate, and as much as I love the watch in general, it is not something I’d suggest for the bike.

1 Like

More than happy with my wahoo bolt.
Works great with Komoot for mapping.
Form factor, sturdiness, battery life, general usability/reliability all excellent.
Screen resolution/readability could be better for navigation, but you get used to it.
Garmin works with some new or proprietary stuff (radar, light control… ) that I don’t need.

Anyone have experience with the Stages Dash? I’ve come into one, but I would probably not use the training software. Is there value having a head unit over and above a phone app?

I haven’t used Garmin so nothing to compare with but I’ve not had a problem with the Elemnt Bolt navigation. Loading in a route via strava is simple and I just switch to the map screen when I need to see where I’m going.

Can’t go wrong with a Bolt or 520. Pick one and go with it.

1 Like

wait for the new Stages Dash, I have the first version which is faultless.
The L50 will have full mapping.

Seems like I’m in the minority but I had a Bolt and returned it as didn’t like the map display and the menu system. I have a 1000 (not 1030) which is much better than the 500-series and 800-series IMO. Bigger screen, suffers few bugs (although this may also be true now of the latest 500/800) and I find it really useful that I can create a route on a PC, save it, then send it to my 1000 via Bluetooth from my phone (also prob true of 500/800 series now). You have probably already come across it but DC Rainmaker website had thorough reviews of most bike computers.

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT hands down. I could rant all day about Garmin Edge computers but the TL;DR is they have a touch screen. Wahoo’s physical buttons work in any weather with whatever you fancy wearing on your hands!

1 Like

If its an entry level device your after then consider the Garmin 520. after two years yes the battery life suddenly reduced. Appears to have been the backlight coming on at 100%, think it may have been a firmware update screwing that up. It was very hard to notice in daylight, since I’m aware of this and ensure its always down to 0% in day time, I still get my 8-10 hours out of it per charge, which I believe is good for a two year old device, and the fact they still release firmware keeping it current, even with the odd mess up! I say entry level as there isn’t a lot of processor power and a lot of memory to load open street maps, but enough to do multiple day touring. I find it just works, connects to everything I’ve brought and has been reliable.

Another satisfied Wahoo user.
My Garmin went in the bin after countless crashes mid ride, taking me off course and refusing to talk to my laptop.
My ELEMNT doesn’t require a wired connection. I can send it routes easily and I enjoy the ability to customise it from an app rather than scrolling through a stupid amount of screens.
Try the original ELEMNT or Bolt. You won’t be disappointed

Interesting… I have the 5S Plus, and I’m trying to device on a bike computer. The main reason being, I’d like something with a decent sized screen (without being overly large) that doesn’t require me to look at my wrist.

I have the Garmin bike mount so I can mount the Fenix 5 to my handle bars, but the display is quite small. I was initially considering the 520 Plus, but it doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade (if at all?) to the Fenix 5S Plus.

Been on my garmin edge 500 for like five years and it has yet to fail me. Gives me power, hr, laps, and that’s honestly all I need.
Do not give a hoot about strava live segments or a map

1 Like

You know I don’t have the plus but my buddy does. That screen is useful for maps but I don’t think it’s as good as a 500 or 800 series Garmin for displaying numbers. My friend has whatever the newest 800 series is? 820? That he got after the 5 plus.

I MTB’d with my Fenix this week because I didn’t want to pack a bunch of stuff over the holidays. It was fine but I was riding trails I know and really only using to record the ride and hr. Hardly looked at it but I would only use it for something like that. The plus maybe better enough to make a difference, I don’t know.

1 Like

Does anyone using Garmin have mismatches between TSS/power reporting?

I’m really happy with my Elemnt with the exception that it overshoots the TSS, kJ, and the short max powers slightly and it triggers my OCD brain

just minor differences…

Recent climbing ride:
156 - TrainerRoad
157 - TrainingPeaks
158 - Garmin Connect

209 - TrainerRoad
210 - TrainingPeaks
211 - Garmin Connect

TR Donner workout with +5 min cooldown:
78 - TrainerRoad
78 - TrainingPeaks
78 - Garmin Connect

204 - TrainerRoad
205 - TrainingPeaks
205 - Garmin Connect

206 - TrainerRoad
205 - Training Peaks
215 - Elemnt App/Headunit

2252 - TrainerRoad
2252 - Training Peaks
2307 - Element App/Headunit

NP -
234 - TrainerRoad
233 - Training Peaks
239 - Element App/Headunit

30s Max -
822 - TrainerRoad
816 - TrainingPeaks
811 - Element App
865 - Elemnt Headunit

I’m not sure what would cause this.

No idea, I’ve only played around a little bit with the Wahoo head units. I bought my Edge 520 before Wahoo Elemnt was ready for prime-time (and Bolt didn’t exist). No real issues with my Edge 520, and since purchasing I picked up Varia radar and won’t leave the house without it.

One of the bigger TSS differences in recent memory from a ride 3 weeks ago:

215 - TrainerRoad
217 - Training Peaks
221 - Garmin Connect

1609 - TrainerRoad
1609 - Training Peaks
1635 - Garmin Connect

228 - TrainerRoad
229 - Training Peaks
232 - Garmin Connect

30s on power-duration curve
511 - TrainerRoad
509 - TrainingPeaks
511 - Garmin Connect

The TSS difference was unusual, don’t recall seeing such a discrepancy in the past but its still less than what you are seeing.

I used a Garmin 520 from 2016-July 2018. It works great for intervals and general ride logging but the mapping and routing is nonexistent due to memory limitations. I changed to a 1030 in August and am very happy with it, I use it for Strava segments and workouts and appreciate the extra data fields gained by the larger screen size.

I did change from the out front mount to the mtb mount that places 3/4 of the unit above the stem as the out-front mount completely blocked the view of my front wheel.

I do hear people touting the Wahoo Bolt but I’m pretty happy in the Garmin ecosystem and find it hard to believe the Bolt would be PERFECT either.

I have a friend with the Karoo, and while it’s REALLY NEAT I do have doubts about the long-term viability and it doesn’t yet support the Varia radar that I refuse to ride without.

No regrets with the 1030.

With Edge 520 I haven’t had any mapping issues riding in NorCal and a little in Nevada, the “turn-by-turn routing” is basically the same as Wahoo because both require loading a route with embedded turn-by-turn. However the 520 does shape based routing, so a Strava route on 520 has basic turn-by-turn but nothing on Wahoo. Only time I’ve wanted re-routing was in areas without cell coverage, and that means both 520 and Wahoo are #fail

I load my own OpenStreet maps onto the 520, worst case I might need to load new maps when traveling outside the area. This is the biggest area I’ve loaded on the 520, for riding locally and central coast where daughter attends college:

Yes, its a bit of a hassle dealing with that, say if I visit a buddy in Bay Area and we ride to Half Moon Bay but I rarely travel outside the map areas. Battery life is generally not an issue, and is 6-8 hours when navigating which means I carry a small battery pack about 5-10 times a year (not an issue, as I might need it for radar and phone too).

The new Edge 520 plus has plenty of space for maps, and true routing engine with full turn-by-turn without a prepared route. I ride plenty of places without any cell coverage, so that takes Wahoo out of consideration (no re-routing without phone & cell coverage) in addition to my ‘never leave home without Varia radar’ stance on riding. Seriously thinking of upgrading to 520 Plus or 1030.