Wahoo have just released the updated version of the popular ELEMNT BOLT GPS Cycle Computer. Designed to be a feature rich yet simple bike computer in a small package, the second generation ELEMNT BOLT (V2) has seen a raft of updates over its predecessor. Updated with a 64-color LCD screen, improved navigation features, larger memory storage and a redesigned, aerodynamic body casing with integrated out front mount.
The BOLT V2 draws inspiration from the Wahoo ROAM released in 2019, packing a similar feature set just in a smaller package. The casing looks sleek and refined, the buttons have a nice tactile feel with clear feedback (even with gloves on) and mount integration streamlines the cockpit.
Integrated and aerodynamic out front mount.
Sleek unit body with raised buttons for ease of use, even while wearing gloves.
A nice simple package, with everything you need to start riding. The unit came with around 80% battery charge so set up could be completed right away. What else is in the box?
First thing I need to make clear is that I currently ride with a Garmin 530 rather than an existing Wahoo model, so my impressions are influenced by this comparison. In saying that, I was immediately impressed with the ELEMNT BOLT out of the box. The unit itself feels well made and premium, the screen quality is instantly noticeable and the button feel and feedback is impressive.
Wahoo’s main benefit claim of the BOLT is simplicity, and this was immediately apparent on set up and sync. Setting up the device was a quick process, even being completely fresh to the Wahoo ecosystem. The set up guide in the box asks you to download the Wahoo Companion App, then scan the QR code that displays on the devices screen. Once synced, it is as simple as following the prompts on the screen to complete the set up.
From here, the intuitive menu and interface lets you customise your screen presets from a large list of visuals and metrics. After a short time fiddling around with options, syncing to sensors, setting up favorite locations and importing some routes, I had the unit ready to ride. Even for those not technologically minded, I think the Wahoo system is intuitive enough to get the basics running without much thought.
Programmable LED indicators that offer a better way to follow routes & monitor performance with nothing more than a glance.
Turn-by-turn navigation to the start of your route. Even retrace your route back to the starting point.
Firstly, I’d start with how much I enjoyed using the unit from a cosmetic and useability perspective. The screen quality in bright and low light was exceptional, and gave a clear view of my data in every situation. The buttons on the unit are a real standout for me, especially the screen change button location vs what I am used to on my Garmin device. There was obvious feedback on click and I barely needed to take my eyes off the road when using it.
In terms of data display, it comes stacked with the performance metrics you would expect to see on any top end computer, and has good compatibility with sensor data. I have no complaints here, nothing was obviously missing within the realm of training data I need.
When it comes to maps and routing, I have tested this on a couple of long gravel adventures where I relied on navigation to get me through the route. My initial experience with maps and navigation via GPX route upload was a little curious. The elevation data seems very high vs the same file upload to my Garmin device. However, during the activities, over 100km, the difference in elevation between my Garmin 530 and Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt was within 1%, which is reassuring. When it came to the the in activity routing feature, I found it was quick and responsive to missed markers with a prompt alarm (which came in handy a couple of times when I wasn't paying attention). In use, the maps are clear and usable, with useful heads up of upcoming turns and saved locations. The GPS tracking seemed accurate and responsive to speed and directional changes.
Wahoo Route Import - Note 1678m Elevation
Garmin Route Import - Note 785m Elevation
The new ELEMNT BOLT is a worthy option for anyone looking for a compact unit with a powerful navigation feature set. It’s a solid build, has premium look and feel and comes stocked with all the functionality most riders need. If you are a current ELEMNT BOLT V1 owner, and the idea of maps and color are of interest, it’s a worthy upgrade. However, ROAM owners would be unlikely to benefit from a migration.
How does it stack up against Garmin? Time will tell if the issues around elevation on routes come right, but regardless of that, I think the main reason someone would choose this over a comparable Garmin Edge 530 would be on a preference of the Wahoo ecosystem, or for cosmetic reasons. Functionally, both options are solid performers and come stacked with features. However, where I see the new Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT shine is in the simplicity of use, the screen quality and the button feel.Shop ELEMNT BOLT
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