Published on October 6th, 2015 | by admin0
Wahoo ELEMNT Cycling Computer
Wahoo fitness has announced the release of their long awaited new cycling device , the ELEMNT GPS cycling computer. And yes, that’s how you spell it, one “E” away from “element” but pronounced the same way. There will be more on that topic later in the article. The cycling technology company produces a number of other products including trainers, heart rate monitors, and other cycling sensors, but this is only their third cyclocomputer after the RFLKT and RFLKT+.
With the ELEMNT, Wahoo claims that they are “breaking the GPS bike computer stereotype!” And they say they are doing so by making a simpler GPS-enabled computer that is user-friendly but has the power and memory to rival other (cough, cough…Garmin) bike computers on the market today.
What is ELEMNT?
ELEMNT is the name that Wahoo gave to the new setup they have invented with cyclists in mind. Their website says that the ELEMNT contains “No more confusing menus!” They seem to be very excited about their new product because the description is full of exclamation marks.
Cyclists can think of ELEMNT as kind of like Windows on computers. Each Window is associated with a different program so it is easy to have multiple programs running and scroll between them. Well, the ELEMNT uses a different screen for things like maps, navigation, elevation gains, live tracking of friends, heart rate, time, speed, power, and calories. The different elements will vary depending on the different compatible sensors that are synced with the computer. Also, in order to use the friend-tracking feature, your friends must have an ELEMNT bike computer as well.
Wahoo’s bike computer is compatible with sensors that use ANT+ or Bluetooth, giving it a wide range of possible uses, a feature common of many of their products. But the real idea that is different about the ELEMNT is the elimination of the USB cord for computer upload, similar of course to the latest Garmin cycling computers such as the Edge 1000 that is capable of uploading ride data by Bluetooth or WIFI. This mean that the ELEMNT doesn’t have to be plugged into a computer to upload and download data as ride data can be automatically uploaded when a ride is completed.
Wahoo’s new ELEMNT can download all data and maps wirelessly and only needs to be plugged into the computer to charge. Wahoo suggests that maps for the entire globe will come pre-loaded, but if you discover one missing, or indeed are seeking an update you can easily update your device wirelessly or even get updated local maps based on your current GPS location. Overall, the battery has a life of approximately 17 hours, much better than the Garmin Edge 1000, which means you won’t be constantly charging after each ride.
Additionally, following each ride, data can be uploaded to various apps over Wi-Fi such as Strava or Ride With GPS. A cyclist need only sync their accounts, and upload new data or download the old with the touch of a button.
Physical Features and Hardware of ELEMNT
Although the wireless GPS features and the connectivity are the highlights of the new cyclocomputer from Wahoo, the design is sleek and the hardware is solid. Basically, the ELEMNT is a 2.7 inch little rectangular device with a black and white screen. This is an interesting feature since the top of the line bike computers from Garmin all have full-color displays. According to Wahoo, they chose to make the screen black and white “so all your data and routes are easy to see.” They call the screen “DayBright” and it is clear, if not as high-tech and colorful as some of Garmin’s models. Using a black and white display of course saves battery power and in my opinion is indeed easier to read especially in bright sunlight.
Through the free app that is available to download with purchase, the display can be customized. This means that those ELEMNT’s we talked about earlier can be shaped to fit any rider’s preferences relatively easily with a smartphone. Also, the left side and top side of the device are lined with color LED lights that can be setup to show information at a glance without switching screens. For example, maybe the top lights indicate current heart rate zone and the left lights could indicate your current power zone. While using the GPS navigator, a rider can see 3 of four lights on either edge and know their approximate readings. Plus of course, these lights are cool looking and add a dash of futuristic technology to the plain, gray display,
Mounting and Indoor Use
In the box, Wahoo includes 3 different mounts for the ELEMNT, these are “three sturdy and secure options – out-front, stem and aero – so that you can see your ride where you want.” The computer isn’t yet compatible with any third-party mounts, but Wahoo is working with the cyclocomputer mount specialists at K-Mount to come up with a new design.
Even though ELEMNT is certified IPX7 waterproof and durable enough to use in the sleet and rain, some cyclists prefer to crank away on a trainer in bad weather. Do not fear, for the ELEMNT is fully ready to use with your Wahoo indoor trainer or indeed a wide range of other trainers and Power devices. The ELEMNT can even read a profile from a past ride so that you can experience an outside ride in the comfort of your well-heated home.
Wahoo intends for the first round of ELEMNT’s to be shipped in November of 2015 at a cost of $330. Interested buyers can pre-order one on the Wahoo fitness website at, http://www.wahoofitness.com/gps-bike-computer-elemnt.html#. Also on that page is more information about the various features available and a few pictures of the unit.
Is Wahoo the Yahoo! of cyclocomputers? That’s a high standard to hold any company to, but Wahoo has produced successful devices before and the ELEMNT has some interesting new features. Only the cycling world can determine its future.