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Ria Mobbs Tech Week – Wahoo vs. Garmin

In this weeks blog I’m going to discuss wahoo vs. Garmin! There are so many options out there but which is better?

Wahoo vs. Garmin

Throughout my years cycling I have always used Garmin over any other kind of cycling computer. Up until a year a go when my trusty Garmin died, so I jumped on the bandwagon and bought the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.

I had seen great reviews on the wahoo and its abilities, but its shape is unlike no other and is aero which every little helps!

Well here I talk about the Pros and Cons of both! I just can’t make my mind up!

Let’s talk about the Garmin first…

The Garmin have many models to suit every single rider type! From devices such as the edge 530 great for maps and training to the 820 which is small and perfect for racing!

Battery Life

If used wisely, the Edge will run for about 8 to 10 hours. In some cases, the running time goes on for a total of 15 hours, but it depends on whether or not you use the device efficiently. Disable some sensors or functions, and you can expect the battery to last longer. This all depends if you need all the data and screen brightness on full.

Performance

The device offers several systems like GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and even an altimeter. Every one of these features works perfectly, providing cyclists with accurate information on their position, speed, distance, course, and more. Overall, the Edge keeps you updated at all times.

Navigation

The navigation totally depends on the model you have! The smaller devices can be hard to follow however their bigger devices designed for the maps and are great when out riding on new roads or when you get lost!

Settings and Compatibility

The Garmin Edge 130 offers compatibility with sensors like heart rate, cadence, and others. Additionally, you can set up a connection to receive weather reports and more notifications during your adventures. Another helpful feature is the Live Track, which allows sharing information.

So pros and cons …

PROS

  • A device for every rider!
  • Multiple systems like GPS and GLONASS included
  • Buttons included are easy to use even in the rain

CONS

  • Not always suitable as a navigation device
  • Can be expensive
  • Touch screen is hard to use in the rain

Now let’s move on to the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt …

The wahoo is small, sleek and aero which is a great start to the device. The wahoo also has features which means you can link them through the app to other devices such as the wahoo kickr, which is great if you love a certain route and want to ride it when the weathers bad!

Design

The Elemnt Bolt is an aerodynamic GPS computer with many benefits for cyclists. First, the device features tactile smart buttons, which are accessible and easy to use, on top of the device.

However, all pages, routes, workouts are designed on a mobile app which means mid ride you can’t change anything which can be a pain!

Battery Life

Depending on use, the battery of this device is capable of lasting up to 15 hours. Mine even lasts longer!

Performance

This device is quite flexible when it comes to routing and location. Even though it includes detailed maps, you could remove them and add them later on, which will help saving memory space.

Navigation

This device offers cyclists the option to use turn-by-turn navigation, using features like the Strava Live Segments and Live Track.

I however do not like the navigation on the wahoo! It can be very fit and miss if it’s going to tell you where to go, especially when running a workout as well! It ends up just flashing red and beeping if you go the wrong way which ca really disturb your ride.

I’m also yet to work out how to get a map on the device to follow!

Settings and Compatibility

Cyclists will be able to connect this device with smartphone apps, be it iPhone or Android. Through this connection, sharing data is easier, as there’s no need to connect the Element Bolt to a computer. Instead, you just use your phone to drag the information out of the device.

PROS

  • Compatible with Android & iPhone smartphones
  • Buttons allow setting routes easily
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • ANT+, Bluetooth and WiFi offered
  • Aero design, featuring integrated mount
  • Can connect to other devices such as the kickr

CONS

  • No touchscreen
  • Requires a smartphone to operate
  • Maps/ Navigation is hard to use

Conclusion

Both are great devices and totally depends on what cyclist you are. For just racing I would pick the wahoo bolt with its personalisation and its quick upload but for any training, commuting or any other cycling I would chose a Garmin for the maps, navigation, workout and its ability to do all those things together, nothing has to be sacrificed!

See you in the next blog when I talk about winter training and how to keep motivated!

Ria 

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