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Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Review (New Cycling Computer For 2019)

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Review (New Cycling Computer For 2019)

Wahoo just launched a new cycling computer for 2019 called the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM and added a bit of color to the mix.

Wahoo ELEMNT Roam Cycling Computer GPS 2019
Wahoo ELEMENT ROAM with Colored Map
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM side view with buttons
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM side view with buttons
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM with aero mounting
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM with aero mounting
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM
Wahoo Cycling Computer ELEMNT ROAM vs ELEMNT Bolt vs ELEMNT Mini
Size comparison ELEMNT ROAM, Bolt and MINI
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM


The ELEMNT ROAM incorporates some of the best features of the Wahoo ELEMNT and the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT, but then goes further with a full lineup of smart navigation features and a color display.

REVIEW

WAHOO ELEMNT ROAM REVIEW

PROS


  • Color Display
  • Rhino Glass
  • New Navigation Features
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • Improved Button Layout

CONS


  • Price (Retail $379.00)
  • Bulkier than the Bolt
  • Response Time is a little slow on Turn by Turn Navigation



Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Highlights

Like the ELEMNT, the ROAM comes with a 2.7″ display, but unlike the ELEMNT, the ROAM features full color vs. black/white.

Cycling Computers not to scale. Garmin 820 vs Wahoo ELEMNT Roam
Cycling Computers not to scale. Garmin 820 vs Wahoo ELEMNT

One complaint cyclists had with Wahoo’s ELEMNT and ELEMNT Bolt had to do with the navigation and the black and white maps. Comparing the Wahoo map display to Garmin’s full colored maps, many cyclists found Garmin to be superior.

Using the Garmin 820 for example, the maps are simply easier to read than the older ELEMNT’s black-and-white option.

Wahoo hasn’t gone overboard with color, but use it to highlight important segments on the map.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM vs ELEMNT vs ELEMNT Bolt

Obviously, a color screen is the main difference between the ELEMNT ROAM, ELEMNT and the ELEMNT Bolt. Also the Smart navigation features (see below) are very welcome.

At first glance, the ROAM looks very similar to the Wahoo Bolt with its housing, button display setup, and more aero profile. My guess is Wahoo went with the Bolt button pattern because it makes more sense and is a bit easier to use.

Wahoo ELEMNT Smart Navigation

Beyond the color and mapping, the ROAM now features Smart Navigation including.

  • Get Me Started — Navigates cyclists to the start of their route
  • Back On Track — Navigates cyclists back to their route if they take a wrong turn
  • Take Me To — Allows cyclists to select a location on their ROAM using new pan and zoom functionality, and get directions to that location
  • Saved Locations — Easily route to locations saved on ROAM
  • Route To Start — Find the shortest route back to the start of your rideRetrace Route — Reverse your route to navigate back to the start along the original route

Other Cool Features

ROAM’s packs an estimated 17+ hour battery life, which is more than enough for most cyclist’s daily demands.

Another neat feature is the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM’s ambient light sensor that automatically turns the screen backlight on or off and adjusts the brightness of the screen.

There is also the Quick Look LED feature during changing light conditions, indoors or out.

Lastly, Wahoo has a cool integrated out-front mount (patent pending) that gives ROAM a clean, sleek look.

Starting May 2019, ROAM is available at WahooFitness.com, and through all Wahoo dealers.

The Retail price is $379.99.

Auto Light Sensitivity | Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

The ROAM includes what Wahoo refers to as an ambient light sensor that will turn the backlighting on or off depending on lighting conditions. This can be set to Auto or turned off.

I have seen one Yahoo video where street lights were turning the screen on and off, which could be a bit annoying.

The feature sounds cool though, so hopefully, Wahoo can dial down the sensitivity and work out the kinks via a firmware update.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line – Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

Wahoo has responded to their user base coming out with a product that looks to dominate the cycling computer scene and will surely be a winner. It borrowed all the cool tech and aspects of previous Wahoo Cycling computers and added some great new features.

Wahoo Size Comparison (ELEMNT Roam, ELEMENT Bolt & ELEMNT MINI)

It does come at a cost making the ROAM $80 more expensive than the ELEMNT ($299.00), $130 more than the ELEMNT Bolt ($249.00) and $279 more than the MINI ($99.00), but it packs a lot more features.

It’s great to see Wahoo listening to their customer base and coming out with a killer cycling computer.

I should receive a sample unit soon to test and I will report back what my thoughts are.

Other Reviews

Check out DC Rainmaker’s In-depth review: Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running 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 photography and 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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