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Wahoo Elemnt Bolt - Test/Review

With whom Elemnt Bolt Wahoo has launched a bike computer which - compared to the market competition - is aerodynamically optimized and with its high performance is aimed especially at ambitious racers.

Next to the top dog Garmin also offer Lezyne, Wahoo and co. meanwhile offer high-quality bike computers. To what extent the models can compete and which advantages and disadvantages they offer we want to find out in the next weeks. As second model in this series we are testing the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.

The Elemnt Bolt bike computer advertises its compactness, easy operation and aerodynamically optimised shape. The whole package sounds very interesting and hopefully not only worth testing on paper.

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt - Unboxing

The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt comes in an easy to open box. When you open it, you get a direct overview of the bike computer and the most important key data and capabilities are listed. In addition to the bike computer, a charging cable, two handlebar mounts (1 aerodynamic), the user manual and a few cable ties are included. The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt makes a good first impression. The case looks very carefully crafted and has very high quality, small gaps. Manufactured is the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt bike computer is made of a relatively smooth plastic, this takes some getting used to and may not look quite so high-quality to some people.

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The bike computer has 6 buttons which are used to operate it. One on the left and two on the right. The remaining three buttons are positioned at the bottom of the display. The buttons are very comfortable to press and seem to have a good pressure point. It remains to be seen what this looks like when mounted.

The heart rate sensor Wahoo Tickr is delivered in a cardboard box including chest strap and operating instructions. Here too, the workmanship is of high quality.

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt - Commissioning

The commissioning and installation of the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, is supposed to be done very easily via the manufacturer's own app for IOS and Android. This works very well in the beginning.

First of all, you switch on Bluetooth on your smartphone and start both the app and the bike computer. Then the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a QR code that you can scan with the camera opened in the app. The Bluetooth connection between the two devices will then be established automatically and you should be able to start setting it up.

Unfortunately there were more and more problems at the beginning of our test. When setting up training pages, the app always crashed, which forced us to use the default settings. Unfortunately, the connection of the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt does not work properly with a WLAN network, so it was not possible to quickly perform a software update here.

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The Tickr chest strap is available in a bundle

In the course of our test a new version of the app has been released, with this one the setup of the training pages works without errors.

Apart from that, the app is very clearly structured, and is definitely better designed in some aspects than Garmin Connect. It's easy to use the app with various third-party accounts like Strava or Komoot. For example, navigation with Komoot is possible and your activities will be uploaded and saved in your training network shortly after finishing.

Without a working app, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt unfortunately a very sparse performance and can not unfold its potential, because you can almost no Einstelllungen directly on the bike computer vornehmen. After the software update Wahoo an extremely user-oriented and user-friendly system that is really fun to use.

Mounting the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt

The assembly of the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt with the help of the aerodynamic bracket is easily and quickly done. Only one bolt needs to be tightened. The bike computer Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is then simply clicked into the holder with a twisting motion. In the holder the Wahoo Elemnt a sure impression. Whoever Wahoo If you want to secure your bike computer better, you can tighten a small locking screw from below. Then the Elemnt Bolt headunit is firmly connected to the bracket and even on cobblestones you don't have to worry about stability.

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In our opinion, the influence of aerodynamic optimization on the actual driving behavior can be rather neglected. However, the whole thing makes a very harmonious impression and is, at least in terms of design, a positive eye-catcher.

The connection of sensors worked well and quickly. They are simply added in the app and configured as desired. In the test we used the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt with the manufacturer's own Tickr heart rate belt and Favero Assioma Duo Powermeter is used.

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt - Use

The use of the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt Headunit ran by and large smoothly. The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt has a relatively long charging time at startup of about 30 seconds. After starting, the bike computer - if switched on - connects all sensors automatically. From then on it delivers a constantly good performance. Like the Lezyne Super GPS the bike computer automatically pauses at traffic lights or intersections where you stop and restarts when you start riding. So it does not happen that you accidentally continue riding while the ride is still paused.

We like the design of the training pages for Wahoo Bike computer very good. Here the manufacturer uses his own system which hopefully will spread. On one training page you can create and prioritize up to 9 data fields. During training or competition, you can choose how many of these data fields you want to be displayed by using the two arrow keys on the right side of the display. Consequently, the different data fields are displayed according to the priorities set. We find this function very useful. It basically allows you to display only 2 core data, such as power and speed or cadence, and to orientate your training accordingly. Data that you want to check less frequently, such as distance, riding time, TrainingStressScore, average speed or power, remain quickly accessible.

The operation of all buttons is very easy, even while driving and wearing gloves. The pressure points are good. The readability of the display is good both in the sun and in the shade. One reason for this is, of course, the training page layout, which means that the data is usually nice and large on the display. The battery life is sufficient even for long rides. Even after a 10-hour day trip and 2 continuously connected sensors, the bike computer still showed 28%. During further training rides the device confirmed the indicated running time of 15 hours. Even planned routes and navigation like for example with Komoot are no problem and do not force the battery to kneel down much earlier. The Wahoo Tickr heart rate belt was also convincing in the test. It functioned without any problems and reliably throughout.

The Elemnt Bolt cycling computer offers various navigation and training functions.

Navigation

The navigation on the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is not very extensive. You have the possibility to load planned routes onto the bike computer and navigate along them. Thereby the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt acts completely independently and does not depend on a permanent connection to the smartphone. Of course we wanted to test that too.

Therefore we planned a route in Komoot and synchronized it with the bike computer via the app. Basically the indications are easy to recognize during the ride and make it easy to follow the route. An exception is made here for roundabouts, which are very unclearly displayed. In the course of the test, this led to the fact that we usually use the map and not the training display on the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. Whether this is the purpose of the thing, we leave it at this point.

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It's a pity that this is all the navigation system has to offer. Once we have made a wrong turn on purpose, the signs simply stop. Neither back to the track nor a detour is shown.

But since this is not advertised by the manufacturer either, it is to be forgiven. However, we are of the opinion that one can expect a little more from a device in this price range and Wahoo ...to do some touch-ups around here.

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt - Indoor training

The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is also suitable for winter and indoor training. He can use controllable roller trainers like the Wahoo Kickr or control the Elite Direto in different modes.

You can choose between training sessions - for example from the UCI Team Ineos, the re-experience of a course, but also an ERG, climb or level mode. Accordingly, the bike computer controls the resistance of the roller trainer and promises a realistic riding experience.

We have not yet tested these functions. However, we have been assured that there will be no complications in connection with devices established on the market.

The possibility to use the bike computer in home training with such a training mode is generally considered very useful and practical, as it really pays off the investment.

Conclusion

The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a bike computer whose functions are aimed at ambitious athletes. It facilitates the work with the powermeter and thus makes training easier. The navigation makes it easy to discover the surroundings and has enabled us to train in a more varied way.

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The list price is 239,- €. In the bundle with speed-, as well as heart and cadence sensor is the Wahoo Headunit available for 329,- €. Since the price level is on par with the top dog Garmin and its Edge models of the 5 series, customers will certainly expect a colour display here in the future, which has long been standard with the competition.

All in all, the device delivers a clean and almost faultless performance. Therefore the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt überzeugen bietet ernst zu nehmende Konkurrenz für Garmin. Alle Wahoo-Produkte findet ihr übrigens hier.

Even after 10.000km I am very satisfied with the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. The battery usually lasts for about one week of training. Connected to my mobile phone, calls and messages are displayed directly and I can quickly decide whether to stop or continue my training. Because the synchronization of routes is so easy, I now also like to use it for a round of training after work.

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