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Thread: Help with choosing a cycle computer

  1. #1
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    Default Help with choosing a cycle computer

    Once more, I am asking for your collective wisdom.

    I've been thinking that a cycle computer might enrich my life, but I have little experience to draw upon.

    I'd like a computer that can help me navigate a pre-loaded route, both on paved roads and off (MTB trails) . I don't use a power meter, or HRM. If it matters, some of my riding buddies use Ride with GPS to plan and share routes, so I would like to use that format. I also don't currently have access to a windows computer, but I do have an android phone.

    One of my friends suggested Lezyne, and another Wahoo. Any suggestions from those that have used these, or other devices would be most helpful.

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    After quite a few Garmin devices, I bought a Wahoo Bolt and have used it without anything more than the occasional problems, all of which were easily resolved. I bought it primarily because it synchs with my routes in Ride with GPS (there is a routine procedure for setting this up) and isn't huge and isn't complicated. Within Ride with GPS there are ways (pretty sure here) to construct off-road routes, and Wahoo is pretty much ready to go wherever the route says. So set up the route in Ride with GPS, open the Wahoo app on your phone, send the desired route to your Wahoo computer, hit start and off you go. I think I would consider the Wahoo Elemnt Roam, simply because of color maps, but really I am pretty happy with the Bolt and haven't seen too much about the Roam that makes me want to upgrade. Of course, on rides in areas I know already, I don't need routes. So then it is just hit start and go, then when the ride is done, hit stop and save and usually before I've gotten my helmet off it has already uploaded the ride to Strava.
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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    I have a Garmin 530 that I've acquired recently - I don't hate it, but the Wahoos are easier to use in terms of the UI/UX and smartphone integration.

    The main reason I chose Garmin was because I also use a VivoSmart and I plan to buy the Garmin radar rear light, so I didn't want to have to deal with extra apps on my iPhone if I went with Wahoo. Also, whilst the Wahoo will talk to the Garmin radar, it can't control the Garmin lights - on/off, and intensity for the front light - like the Garmin head unit does.

    If Wahoo did a slimline wrist-based tracker like the VivoSmart I might have gone with the Bolt instead.

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    My wife brought me into the modern era by buying me a Wahoo Bolt a couple years ago. It's been quite handy. I must admit that on routine rides around the home base I probably watch it too closely, mostly to check my heart rate and the ride's average speed. Where it's really come in handy has been when I'm away from my usual haunts. Being able to plot and load a turn-by-turn route into the unit has really simplified such rides. Sometimes just wandering around is fine (I do it at home all the time), but it's great peace of mind knowing that the computer will keep me from getting lost.

    I've not used it in this fashion, but it will link to the Garmin Varia radar units which I think are potentially the greatest advance in rider-oriented active safety in a great while.

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    I just recently transitioned from Garmin to Wahoo Element Roam and couldn’t be happier. Simplest setup ever and I think it is much more seamless with Strava segments than the Garmin was. The routes seem to work well and rerouting if you miss a turn works very well.

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    I have a Wahoo Bolt, few years now, not as much "glitchiness" as the Garmin 500 it replaced.

    Poke around here for in-depth info, comparisons, etc...

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    I had a Garmin 830, returned it because I couldn't see the items on the screen. Same with a 1030, they were both too small. In the end my old eyes prompted me to try the Hammerhead Karoo. Yes it's big, but what's an extra 68 grams over the 1030 when I'm 20,000 grams heavier than I should be? I like that I can create multiple profiles for different bikes with custom screen layouts for the data I want for each activity. And the screen, OMG the image colour/resolution is unbeatable. Android based not proprietary software and they've been great with updates and support. I've just pre-ordered a Karoo 2, still bigger than Garmin or Wahoo but smaller than the original. We'll have to see how that goes.

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    A few years ago I switched from the Garmin 800(?) to the original Wahoo Elemnt because I hated the routing on the Garmin. At this point I don't even remember exactly what I didn't like about the Garmin but the big fat arrows on the Elemnt are pretty easy to follow. The Wahoo has pretty much worked all the time. In all these threads I don't recall many, if any, people talking about getting fed up with a Wahoo and switching to a Garmin. People may switch for features but the Wahoo seems to have the better reliability and usability. Not that this thing is perfect, I hate that I can only zoom in/out on the map and can't scroll around. No street names on the map is lame too but not as bad as it seems. When using turn-by-turn directions street names do come up. I don't know if my map complaints are solved on the newer units. I checked out DCR's review of the Karoo 2 and it seems nice but his unit was still a beta.

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Bingissimo View Post
    ... I've just pre-ordered a Karoo 2, still bigger than Garmin or Wahoo but smaller than the original. We'll have to see how that goes.
    Interested to hear about this one when you start using it.
    What mounting system do the Karoo use?
    Their answer was pretty vague when I asked them.

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    I'm a Luddite, most of my bike gizmos just (barely) display speed and distance...but my wife has fully embraced cyclometer tech. After trying both Garmin and Polar top-of-the-line units, she eventually settled on a Wahoo Elemnt, and she loves it (and has been trying to get me to embrace it also!). Apparently one of the appeals of the Elemnt was how well its GPS mapping handles unpaved "roads" (dirt & gravel stuff that doesn't always show up on traditional maps).

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    Question for OP. How is your eyesight?

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    I have never had problems with a Garmin 500 or recently purchased 530. This may not matter to you but the Wahoo Elment Bolt cannot perform accurate total kJ calculations (Assioma pedal PM) and Wahoo support does not have a fix (summer 2020).
    -Mike
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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Question for OP. How is your eyesight?
    Good point. My vision is OK, but like most things about me these days it is not improving with age.

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    Quote Originally Posted by cs124 View Post
    Interested to hear about this one when you start using it.
    What mounting system do the Karoo use?
    Their answer was pretty vague when I asked them.
    In terms of use K2 should be virtually the same as my Karoo, the OS is the same and you sign in with your current profile created in the Hammerhead dashboard. I think maybe a small change in the number and configuration of buttons, but I do everything by swiping onscreen anyway. Hammerhead says that I could sign out of my Karoo, hand it to a friend with a Karoo profile and when they sign in the device will have access to all their stuff; records, equipment profiles, routes, downloaded maps, etc.

    Current mount on the K1 is Garmin 1/4 turn. The K2 has a new mount system, they say it gives a lower profile and is more secure but pre-orders will come with an adapter to convert the K2 to G 1/4. Handy because I have K-Edge garmin mounts on all my bikes. I believe that anyone buying after the pre-order period can purchase the adapter as an accessory.

    DCRainmaker has a video up that shows the unit and details of the mount and adaptor.


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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    I had a Lezyne that I gave to my daughter when my wife gave me a 1030 for Christmas. The Lezyne was simple and cheap; worked well and the battery lasted forever. I only used the route function once and it urged me to go the wrong way around on a charity ride loop. My fault, file loaded wrong? No idea.

    The Garmin does everything and then some. Storing and creating routes is easy from Garmin Connect or Strava or Kamoot and I'm sure ride with GPS is the same. My uploads to Strava happen automatically. Early in my experience, I did have some trouble syncing to my phone but I have been trouble free for about 5 months now. It stores multiple bikes, custom screens, etc...
    DJ Boyd

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    Default Re: Help with choosing a cycle computer

    Quote Originally Posted by DJB View Post
    I had a Lezyne that I gave to my daughter when my wife gave me a 1030 for Christmas. The Lezyne was simple and cheap; worked well and the battery lasted forever. I only used the route function once and it urged me to go the wrong way around on a charity ride loop. My fault, file loaded wrong? No idea.
    My Lezyne routing is as good/bad as that of the Garmin 500 I had before. I think the new models has better routing (there are >10 models with confusing names: mine is called Macro, but there are 3 different Macro models!), but don't need it enough to upgrade.

    In many ways, the Lezyne seem like an ugly version 2.0 of the 500: similar feature set, with half the price, x4 the battery and nicer phone app. But it is really ugly. When it'll die, I see no reason not to get another Lezyne.

    Only feature I'd like to see is height profile for climbs, like the Wahoo has.

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