Wahoo Elemnt Rival Smartwatch Launch

I still use the Rival. I really start to like it. It’s just a real workhorse and I don’t miss the things that other watches offer other than structured workouts that are supposed to come - hopefully.
Here a video i found online and though it could be interesting for others, too:

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I just put in an order for the Wahoo Element Rival. I plan to use it for running / swimming / biking and with my Kickr that I have on order. Not really looking for a smart watch. Will share my thoughts once I get it next week.

Sean

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What are your thoughts?

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Thanks for the reminder. I’ve had the Wahoo Elemnt Rival for several weeks now. I also own a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar and a Polar Vantage V. One key aspect that I like about Wahoo is that I’m not really interested in Garmin’s garden or Polar’s when it comes to tracking fitness. I’ve been using Training Peaks for several years now and recently have been evaluating Todays Plan and intervals.icu. If at some point TR gets better support for running/swimming I’m all on board for that too. So what I like about Wahoo is a more agnostic approach when it comes to relying upon other services to track fitness/fatigue/etc.

Okay, now for using the device. I’ve used it for running with Stryd and cycling with my Favero Uno. What’s interesting about Running Power is that it really does see the Stryd sensor as a Power Meter and the FIT file has the data and there are fields you can enable. It’s just that the Wahoo Fitness app doesn’t display it in the history for that workout. But it shows up in Today’s Plan / Strava. So here my wish is to have better integration with Stryd as well as other Running Dynamics sensors. Garmin HRM Pro works but there is no Running Dynamics. Which it should show if it is supporting the ANT+ profile for it.

I normally run with a chest strap but I did do some running with the watch by itself on both the treadmill and on the road. No real issues with HR at all. It’s not as accurate as a strap of course. No real issues with GPS position. But I’ve seen some spikes in altitude occasionally.

My biggest concern is the lack of structured workout support. I’d like to be able to sync from a number of sources TR, Today’s Plan, etc.

Sean

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Just FYI, but I also created a new Reddit group to discuss Wahoo related gear. The old Reddit group is in read-only mode and archived. Here’s the link: WahooElemntKickr (reddit.com)

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What are your thoughts on the watch now? Looks as though a couple of major firmware updates have been released since your last post. I am considering buying the Rival, as I am beginning to get into swimming and I am a big fan of my Wahoo ELEMNT Roam. I would like to stay in the Wahoo ecosystem, instead of going to a Garmin watch.

How did Wahoo respond to your criticisms? Did they promise the changes you would like to see in the future?

I’ve seen several reviews of the watch, but I get the sense that Rival is better now than when those reviews were first posted. Also, I want to give Wahoo the benefit of the doubt and trust that they will fix what is not working well.

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So far we’ve seen a smattering of software updates. But it still feels like there is a haphazard approach to the order in which these features are chosen. I see that they landed track mode and a remote music player. I’d prefer to see structured workouts land. What’s key for me is more robust support for the triathlon modes individually. It feels like the scaffolding of a platform with huge gaps in the software. I worry with the example of the Wahoo Roam’s slow down in SW features, that the Rival may suffer the same fate. I’ve done software development for a varienty of GPS products, and it’s never a good idea to just ship something out the door with a presumed promise to make it a more robust product with software updates over time. It’s not sustainable and at a certain point it falls behind. But Wahoo didn’t even publicly promise improvements. Instead they stood by their Triathlon themed features. But we had hints from reviewers who were likewise critical of the dearth of features for the price. It’s those hints that are all we have to go on. Not ideal, IMHO.

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Wahoo added support for structured workouts:
ELEMNT RIVAL 1.40.54 - 25 May, 2021

  • Added: Support for Planned Workouts from TrainingPeaks. Cycling, Running, and Swimming workouts will sync to RIVAL through the Workout Tab in the ELEMNT Companion app. A new Dial Page and Graph Page are visible on RIVAL when a workout plan is loaded.
  • Added: HEADWIND control. When paired to a KICKR HEADWIND, RIVAL will have a new page to allow full control of fan settings.
  • Updated: Improved in-workout optical heart rate tracking.
  • Fixed: Stability Improvements
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I went out today for a run post-update. Optical HR seemed spot on and even though it was just an easy run planned in Training Peaks, I really liked the implementation of workouts after this update.

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For some reason, the Planned Workouts is not showing up in my Rival’s menu as in the tutorial but I can transfer the workout using the mobile app no problem.

Yeah exactly the same for me. Although when I went to start a run it did tell me that there was a workout planned and asked if I wanted to do it.

I figured it out. If you click on running, and then do a menu, you will see “PLANNED WORKOUT” in the menu. From that you can Sync, and scroll through the synced workouts.

More details here:

I think the planned workout feature is great. Tested running and pool. Both flawless.
Only one thing is missing, especially when on a run: vibrate/beep when out of zone! Other than that: perfect
Especially swimming in the pool