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New launch – Wahoo ELEMNT Rival – The perfect sports watch for triathletes?

Wahoo introduces with the new model ELMNT Rival for the first time a multisport GPS watch. The manufacturer is already known to athletes from the cycling and triathlon sector through various bike computers and indoor trainers. Especially the bike computers ELEMNT, ELEMNT Bolt and Roam offer perhaps the best alternative to the not less popular Garmin devices. That now a smartwatch for triathletes, runners and many other sports enthusiasts follows is a logical consequence from our point of view. We haven’t had our hands on a device yet, but we still don’t want to withhold our opinion on the technical specs.

Sportwatch – Wahoo ELEMNT Rival

The new Wahoo ELEMNT Rival is primarily intended as a sports watch. It therefore has built-in GPS functionality and should work smoothly with the GPS and GLONASS satellite systems. For ideal compatibility with power meters, vibration or cadence sensors available on the market, the watch supports ANT+, ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth. This also makes it easy to connect to your mobile phone so that recorded training data can be quickly synchronized and uploaded. Of course, this is just as possible with Android devices as it is with an Apple iPhone.

Wahoo ELEMNT Rival Sportwatch
Swimming, cycling, running – The Wahoo ELEMNT Rival offers everything triathletes need

Activity Profiles

There are different activity profiles for the different disciplines. These currently include:

  • Indoor cycling (KICKR)
  • Outdoor cycling
  • Run
  • Treadmill
  • lane swimming (pool/swimming pool)
  • Open Water / Free Swim
  • Force Profile
  • Yoga

Compatibility and measurement data

As is also common among the competition, an optical heart rate sensor is now part of the basic equipment of every sports and smartwatch. Thus, an external sensor is not necessarily required. However, our experience shows that chest straps provide a more precise result, especially in combination with sweat and high heart rates.

For indoor trainers, compatibility is noted with all Wahoo models, as well as all ANT+ FE-C capable models. This should include most smart exercise bikes from Tacx Elite and other manufacturers. Weekly summaries of run, swim and bike distances are another feature. Even without external sensors, the watch detects and determines the following activity data.

  • Speed
  • Distance
  • Training time
  • Heart rate
  • Swimming distance
  • Pace
  • Schlagzahl
  • Beat rate

TICKR X support

When paired with a TICKR X sensor, ANT+ Running Dynamics, a form of advanced running data, is recorded and displayed in real time. This allows for optimal control and correction of stride frequency, contact time, etc.

Workout analyses and control

In order to not only complete your training well, but also to be able to analyze it well, there are several functions. You get your heart rate zones and the calorie consumption calculated in relation to them. GPS is used to record speed and distance. Data sheets and activity profiles can be set up individually.

AdobeStock 231722058 edited
With a strength and yoga profile, indoor activities – for example in the gym – should also be covered

Automated rounds and breaks are possible, but of course you can also do it manually. Depending on the activity you get audio signals and different target times. You can lock the control buttons to prevent unintentional changes. There is an activity history.

Perfect View zoom buttons

You can use the buttons on the side of the Wahoo sports watch to easily switch between data fields. The whole thing works similar to the ELEMNT Bolt bike computer. In the blink of an eye, you can switch from the view of just one data field to up to 6 fields at the same time.

Multisport activity with the Wahoo ELEMNT Rival watch

To ensure a smooth training and competition process for triathletes, Wahoo relies on its own design of multisport activities. There are both manual and automatic modes. In manual mode, you simply use the round key to change your activity profile.

Touchless Transition

The watch automatically recognizes the activity type and changes the discipline at the appropriate time. Only a push of a button at the start and finish are necessary. Full focus on the race action guaranteed. Also activities beside the classical sequence swimming – cycling – running should be possible. Very interesting for different training sessions and duathlon competitions.

Touchless transition during triathlon with the Wahoo ELMENT Rival sports watch
With Touchless Transition, the Wahoo ELMNT Rival sports watch changes disciplines faster than the athlete themselves

Multisport handover

A new feature for triathletes is the handover between the Rival sports watch and an ELEMNT bike computer. Connect the two devices and get your overall data displayed effortlessly on your cycling computer. You retain full control over the recording of your activity.

Smartwatch – Wahoo ELEMNT Rival

In addition to the already mentioned functions as a sports watch, the Wahoo ELEMNT Rival can also be used as a smartwatch in everyday life. Besides time and date there are timer and stopwatch functions. There is a pedometer and the watch calculates the calories actively burned. For this purpose, the training time and the total distance covered are evaluated.

Compared to other smartwatches and sportswatches, however, you miss some features. Intensity minutes as known from Garmin models or an evaluation of the climbed stairs / floors is missing. Notifications from mobile devices such as calls and SMS are shown on the display. Email is currently only supported on iOS.

ELMNT Companion App

Through the ELEMNT Companion App you get further features in connection with the Wahoo Rival sports watch. For example, live tracking of activities is possible. Uploading training sessions, on the other hand, works automatically.

The app also helps set up the device, lets you easily create activity profiles, and is necessary to update the software.

Technical data

The Wahoo ELEMNT Rival sports watch has the following dimensions and key data.

  • Size: 46.5 x 46.5 x 15.3 mm
  • Display diameter: 30.4 mm
  • Display type: 64-color vibrant display
  • Resolution: 240 x 240
  • Gorilla® Glass
  • Ceramic / Nylon Polymer Housing
  • Silicone bracelet (25.4 cm)
  • Weight: 53g
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (via USB)
  • Battery life GPS/heart rate: up to 24 hours
  • Battery life smartwatch: up to 14 days
  • Integrated GPS/GLONASS system
  • Integrated optical heart rate sensor
  • Water permeability 5ATM / Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Perfect View Zoom buttons
  • Ambient light sensor

Software support

Various third-party software is supported. These include Strava, TrainingPeaks, Today’s Plan, Train XHALE, Google Fit, Apple Health and Relive.

Scope of delivery

In addition to the sports watch itself, the scope of delivery includes a USB charging cable, a quick start guide and a product information guide.

Wahoo ELMNT Rival for runners, cyclists and triathletes
Runners, cyclists and triathletes should feel addressed with the Wahoo ELEMNT Rival

Conclusion Wahoo ELEMNT Rival

Even though we haven’t been able to hold a model in our hands yet, the Wahoo ELEMNT Rival sports watch sounds promising. If this brings the usual quality of the manufacturer, manufacturers such as Garmin and Polar will have to prepare for a new competitor in this market.

The smartwatch features are not yet comparable to other models, such as the Garmin Forerunner 945 and Garmin Forerunner 745. However, if you consider the relatively low RRP of €379.99, you’re well below the Garmin watches.

We are looking forward to the first practical tests of the watch. What do you think of the new Wahoo ELEMNT Rival? Leave us your opinion in the comments.

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