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Wahoo Elemnt Bolt Review

Intuitive, clear and accurate – the ideal bike computer.

Having used some form of bike computer for the last decade or so I was intrigued to see what the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt could offer that would set it apart from the crowd.

Unboxing the Bolt and straight away you can see that Wahoo have really thought about how to engage with the consumer and to make the set up as straightforward as possible. The essential part of the process is the free Wahoo Elemnt app which allows phone pairing which gives access to all of the control over the device.

So turn on the unit and a QR code screen appears that you scan with your phone and then that’s its all synchronised. From the app I customised my personal data such as power zones, FTP, heart rate zones, weight, height age etc. Next step was to customise the data screen which has some neat features.

By listing the key data, you want at the top of the menu it appears at the top of the Bolt screen. Then the menu hierarchy is mirrored on the unit so that you can display a wide range of data fields as required. But crucially you can easy zoom in to just 1 or 2 data fields with the unit side buttons which is perfect for me as I will explain later. Last few setup details – always rotate map so that when navigating the screen is always showing forwards, select what the LEDs along the outside show (power zone for me), and then finally link to the third-party sites. Now this was such a seamless part of the operation I nearly forgot about it. By setting this first time the unit will automatically send your newly completed ride data through to Strava, Training Peaks and many other sites via your phone and Wi-Fi/data if allowed.

All this setup takes under 5 minutes and it’s a simple operation to alter later on as well. From the app you can also view previous ride files, routes linked to your account and device status.

Within the box the key design feature of the Bolt becomes apparent – aerodynamics. This is the only bike computer and mount designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. So, the computer and mount become a seamless unit when fixed to the bike and yet all the full functionality is completely and easily available. The mount is plenty sturdy enough to survive the punishment I have given it…

So how is it in use?

Well I have been testing the unit over the winter and the performance has been brilliant. I have raced a full cyclocross season including the World Masters Championship race in Belgium with the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and it has been perfect. For my night time training sessions, the backlight has been very clear and bright. For the night commute home to and from work the navigation has been the best I have used, with very clear mapping including cycle paths, great backlighting and a very clear red light/alarm combo when off route. Turn by turn instructions with clear notification ahead of a junction to ensure you know what to do and the LEDs also light up to reinforce the message.

In use the zoom in/out feature is easy to perform whilst riding. This is great when navigating to allow you to focus on a tricky junction or cruise on a clearly know road. For race day I can have lots of data open and visible for warm up such as heart rate, power and time of day, but for the race itself I can zoom in on just a couple of data fields without any hassle.

The automatic upload works perfectly every time.

The latest feature I have discovered is that the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt can also be sued to control my smart trainer.

A recent upgrade to a fully smart trainer meant I needed to set some workouts to perform. The Bolt has a few already installed including a Team SKY over/under workout which seemed ideal as a test of both trainer and unit. So, find workout, set unit to indoor and start! The unit wirelessly controlled the trainer for the entire workout and gave the power data readout to ensure I stayed in target throughout. Perfect although the workout was tough!

Overall the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a fantastic bike computer that when combined with the intuitive and highly functional companion app allows for full data access and brilliant navigation for all cycling applications.