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Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Review (2018)

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Review (2018)

It’s been a little over year now since I have been using the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt and so far it’s performed flawlessly.  So rather than write this review as I typically would, I decided to write it and show you how I am currently using the Bolt and what I find extremely helpful.

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Review 2018

For many having a cycling computer is as much a part of their bikes as wheels are.  While you certainly can go biking without one, a good cycling computer not only let’s you know your current riding stats (Speed, Distance, Time…), but also allows you to upload those to various cycling programs like Strava for post ride analysis.

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Aero Computer Mount

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Review 2018 bar Aero Bar End Attachement

Wahoo claims that the ELEMNT Bolt was the first fully aerodynamic GPS bike computer, but don’t let it being a bit more aero con you into thinking it’s going to really help you ride faster.  While it certainly might shave a few seconds or 10ths of a second from your ride, it’s not going to win you a race.

In my case I nixed the provided computer mount for the K-Edge Combo computer mount allowing me to add a NiteRider 950 Lumen light.  Something the Bolt mount couldn’t do.  For those who commute or ride in mixed lighting conditions, this setup is by far the best setup I have found to date.

Rather than having a light on your helmet or handle bars, the light sits below your cycling computer and in the center of your bike’s front wheel.  This is the optimal position for a riding light and once you have setup like this you will not want to go back to anything else.

 

K-EDGE Pro Combo Mounts Niterider

 

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Fully Wireless

Wahoo ELEMNT App Apple

The Bolt is fully wireless, which means there’s no need to tether up to your laptop to sync ride data, download maps, or update the software.  Everything can be uploaded via WiFi, Bluetooth, or ANT+.

In the past many cycling computers required you to hook them up to a computer to upload or download information.  With the Bolt you simply connect to the Wahoo App and the information is transmitted wirelessly to you phone and then to your Wahoo Fitness account.  It really doesn’t get any easier.

Using the Wahoo ELEMNT App gives you full access to the update what displays on the Bolt.  To use the App you need to power on the Bolt and then launch the ELEMNT app.  The app will then wirelessly connect to the Bolt.

On my Bolt I have 3 screens that are active including a Workout Data Screen, a Climbing Screen and a Map Screen.  These can be turned on or off depending on what you want shown.

Wahoo ELEMENT APP Workout Data 2018

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Workout Data Screen

In the Workout Data screen you have all sorts of options as to what you want shown.  My current preference is to display the following fields.

  • Speed
  • Heart Rate
  • Distance
  • Time Of Day
  • Temperature
  • Cadence
  • Average Speed
  • Calories
  • Active Time

Wahoo ELEMNT APP Screen Workout Data

Once your workout screens are setup the way you like, you can increase and decrease the font size during a ride by clicking the right up/down buttons on the Bolt.  As you increase the font less fields display.  As you decrease the font size more fields display.

Personally  I find showing 4 fields to be optimal for viewing.  When you show more fields the font size gets a bit too small to see.

Since I don’t have a power meter, my most important fields I like to view include

  • Speed
  • Heart Rate
  • Cadence
  • Distance

Here is a video I put together that compares the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt to the Garmin 820.

Tacx NEO vs Wahoo KICKR Trainer (2018 Comparison)

Wahoo KICKR Smart Electric Trainer Review

Garmin Edge 820 vs Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about running, cycling and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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