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-   -   Cycling computer recommendation.... (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1195667)

santoku 03-12-20 05:07 PM

Cycling computer recommendation....
 
I will be updating from my Lezyne SuperGPS, and am looking at the following:

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt
Wahoo Elemnt Roam
Garmin Edge 530
Stages Dash M50/L50

I am running Varia radar, and all are now compatible.

My highest priority is reliability. I despise losing ride data. It's irrational, but I'll sulk for a week if a unit crashes or freezes, and I can't recover data. It's gotta work, every time.

Second highest priority is UI speed and flow. If the unit is under powered, or the UI is buggy or slow, that's a no-go. If navigation or moving between data screens is doggy, it's not the unit for me.

I value training data, but don't need compatibility with training websites to upload workouts from. I do want to be able to enter interval workouts in the unit on the fly if possible though. I think Garmin may be the only one that can do that ??

I like add-ons such as the Garmin Climb Pro, but not at the expense of reliability or cost of UI speed. Battery life is important, but my rides aren't more than 5-8hrs. I'm not a weight weenie, but lighter and compact is good. Visibility of data is important. I carry my smartphone with me, so having features tethered to the phone isn't a problem.

Turn by turn navigation would be nice, but the superiority of the nav is less important to me than a reliable and quick-using unit with data metrics I can access on the ride.

Not sure if there are any folks with experience using more than one of the aforementioned units, but I'd be obliged for any of your thoughts and experiences. Thanks !

Steve B. 03-12-20 06:07 PM

I like two of the Garmins I’ve used, a 1000 and now a 1030, but I use them for navigation and wanted units that I could add Topo maps. The maps display better on Garmins as well, IMO.

As maps aren’t your priority the best option is the Bolt. Not sure about intervals though, I’ve never used that. Wahoo has had time to debug what few items ever had issues and they are now selling for $230. The turn-by-turn was always good, the map was just poor. Paired with RideWithGPS and you can get good TBT and it’s known as a rock solid if unexciting unit.

bobwysiwyg 03-12-20 06:59 PM


Originally Posted by Steve B. (Post 21364377)
I like two of the Garmins Iíve used, a 1000 and now a 1030, but I use them for navigation and wanted units that I could add Topo maps. The maps display better on Garmins as well, IMO.

As maps arenít your priority the best option is the Bolt. Not sure about intervals though, Iíve never used that. Wahoo has had time to debug what few items ever had issues and they are now selling for $230. The turn-by-turn was always good, the map was just poor. Paired with RideWithGPS and you can get good TBT and itís known as a rock solid if unexciting unit.

I recently started using a Bolt. Like it a great deal.

santoku 03-12-20 08:35 PM


Originally Posted by Steve B. (Post 21364377)
I like two of the Garmins Iíve used, a 1000 and now a 1030, but I use them for navigation and wanted units that I could add Topo maps. The maps display better on Garmins as well, IMO.

Thanks for the reply Steve. I've heard the 1030 is great for bike touring or exploring. I will mostly be riding familiar routes, or can upload event .GPX routes.
​​

Originally Posted by Steve B. (Post 21364377)
As maps arenít your priority the best option is the Bolt. Not sure about intervals though, Iíve never used that. Wahoo has had time to debug what few items ever had issues and they are now selling for $230. The turn-by-turn was always good, the map was just poor. Paired with RideWithGPS and you can get good TBT and itís known as a rock solid if unexciting unit.

​​​​Seems to be regarded as a solid unit, if under-featured relative to the Garmin's and newer Roam.

santoku 03-12-20 08:36 PM


Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg (Post 21364448)
I recently started using a Bolt. Like it a great deal.

Thanks Bob. Is this your first bike computer, or did you come from something else ?

Carbonfiberboy 03-12-20 10:04 PM

I bought my Edge 800 in 2010, still use it. We have 2 of them on the tandem. Never had a problem with them, other than running out of battery at ~10 hours. I have a battery pack I use if it's going to be longer than that. I also upload everything. I really like the ability to follow a route and also to see the route on the screen. Only thing is that I wish the screen were larger, but I could upgrade and get that.

santoku 03-12-20 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy (Post 21364609)
I bought my Edge 800 in 2010, still use it. We have 2 of them on the tandem. Never had a problem with them, other than running out of battery at ~10 hours. I have a battery pack I use if it's going to be longer than that. I also upload everything. I really like the ability to follow a route and also to see the route on the screen. Only thing is that I wish the screen were larger, but I could upgrade and get that.

Thanks Carbonfiberboy !

Theypeedonmyrug 03-13-20 07:31 AM

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...eaf0d4975.jpeg

I use Cyclemeter on my iphone mounted on a QuadLock. I has been flawlessly reliable for the last five years. It does all the things you require, automatically sends your location at regular intervals to any email addresses you Iist. It also does all the things an iphone does--I've even had brief Facetime chats while riding out in the country. The one thing it can't do is be compact and light, but you carry a smartphone anyway.

santoku 03-13-20 07:50 AM


Originally Posted by Theypeedonmyrug (Post 21364871)
I use Cyclemeter on my iphone mounted on a QuadLock. I has been flawlessly reliable for the last five years.

Using the phone itself has some virtue, so thank-you for the suggestion. While it would fulfill many of the functions I am looking for, my preference is to confine the phones bulk and form to my jersey pocket, and to have a computer more slight up front. Cheers !

Rides4Beer 03-13-20 09:43 AM

Love my Bolt, but have no experience with other computers to compare it to. Def rock solid, have never had an issue or lost any data, screens are easy to setup and navigate while riding. Map size/detail is a bit lacking, but I've also never gotten lost when following a route that I've loaded (which is the only time I use the map screen, if I'm out exploring and want to see where I am, I stop and look at the map on my phone).

Just saw a Roam in person the other day, and it is considerably larger than the Bolt, and it's color, so the map/nav is probably easier to use. Personally, I like the small form factor of the Bolt, and it's still very easy to see important ride data like speed, time, distance, etc. (depending on how much data you display, the fonts get smaller the more rows you display, but I have no problems seeing with four rows of data).

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fdf202d504.jpg

MidTNBrad 03-13-20 09:46 AM

I moved from a Garmin 510 to the Bolt. I had maybe 1-2 lockups on the Garmin over the 2 years I had it but have had no lockups/lost data on the Bolt since I've gotten it a little over a year ago. The main reason I moved from the Garmin is because I couldn't get used to the touch screen. The Bolt has buttons with a nice tactile feel; the screen has good (non color) contrast; it isn't too big or too small; the screen is responsive. At the end of a ride I have it set to auto load to Strava, RideWithGPS, and DropBox. I can recommend the Bolt.

santoku 03-13-20 09:49 AM


Originally Posted by Rides4Beer (Post 21365086)
Love my Bolt, but have no experience with other computers to compare it to. Def rock solid, have never had an issue or lost any data

Super! Thanks for the details. How easy do you find the front buttons to activate ?

santoku 03-13-20 09:50 AM


Originally Posted by MidTNBrad (Post 21365094)
I moved from a Garmin 510 to the Bolt. I had maybe 1-2 lockups on the Garmin over the 2 years I had it but have had no lockups/lost data on the Bolt since I've gotten it a little over a year ago. The main reason I moved from the Garmin is because I couldn't get used to the touch screen. The Bolt has buttons with a nice tactile feel; the screen has good (non color) contrast; it isn't too big or too small; the screen is responsive. At the end of a ride I have it set to auto load to Strava, RideWithGPS, and DropBox. I can recommend the Bolt.

Very positive experience. Any issues with the front bottom buttons ?

MidTNBrad 03-13-20 09:59 AM


Originally Posted by santoku (Post 21365104)
Very positive experience. Any issues with the front bottom buttons ?


There are three buttons on the face nearest the rider, up/down buttons on the right side and a power button on the left side. No issues so far.

Rides4Beer 03-13-20 10:00 AM


Originally Posted by santoku (Post 21365100)
Super! Thanks for the details. How easy do you find the front buttons to activate ?

Very easy to use the buttons, even with double gloves on in the cold. I didn't want any touchscreen issues since I ride with gloves and sometimes in the rain.

topflightpro 03-13-20 10:41 AM

Garmin is probably the least reliable option.

My wife loves her Bolt. I am quite happy with my PC8, but that isn't on your list.

santoku 03-13-20 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by topflightpro (Post 21365209)
Garmin is probably the least reliable option.

My wife loves her Bolt. I am quite happy with my PC8, but that isn't on your list.

The PC8 looks to be a great piece of kit, but well beyond my price point :-)

surak 03-13-20 12:26 PM

I haven't used the 530, have a 520 and recently bought a Bolt after being fed up by issues with the 520, with the last straw being a well-known issue where the Varia radar will stop reporting if the unit drops the BT phone connection even if it reconnects. I saw the same issue reported on the Garmin 530 forums, so Wahoo won by default

There are only 2 things I like better about the Garmin: Di2 hood buttons are programmable (Wahoo only maps them to the physical computer buttons) and profile support lets me move it between bikes and not have useless sensor fields.

Everything else I like better on the Bolt, though the 530 might be more competitive than the 520. Battery life, UI responsiveness, screen clarity - yes even maps are easier for me to read. Also notable is that the Bolt supports workouts and displays more info about intervals, while my 520 only showed the interval type and power range.

santoku 03-13-20 12:37 PM


Originally Posted by surak (Post 21365435)
I haven't used the 530, have a 520 and recently bought a Bolt after being fed up by issues with the 520 [...]
There are only 2 things I like better about the Garmin: Di2 hood buttons are programmable (Wahoo only maps them to the physical computer buttons) and profile support lets me move it between bikes and not have useless sensor fields.

Thank-you for the specific observations ! I run Di2, but would likely be satisfied with simply having the hood buttons rotate through the screens I would have set up. In terms of profile support, I have heard that Garmin does this much better than others.

Regarding interval programs on the Bolt, do those need to be created on the computer and uploaded ? Or can they be built directly on the Bolt or in the app ?

surak 03-13-20 01:50 PM


Originally Posted by santoku (Post 21365452)
Regarding interval programs on the Bolt, do those need to be created on the computer and uploaded ? Or can they be built directly on the Bolt or in the app ?

I've only synced workouts through TrainingPeaks. I don't see a way to create one in the app.

Steve B. 03-13-20 02:09 PM

I think Garmin is blowing out stock, Edge 520 Plus $200

https://www.clevertraining.com/garmi...cling-computer

Timdugan 03-18-20 12:06 PM

Bolt or Roam
 
I bought a Bolt to replace a Garmin 510 which served me well. The Bolt does everything I need it to do, and is much more intuitive than the Garmin. if I were shopping today I would definitely look at the Roam which wasnít available.

santoku 03-18-20 12:24 PM


Originally Posted by surak (Post 21365581)
I've only synced workouts through TrainingPeaks. I don't see a way to create one in the app.

Yes, in looking at DCRainmaker's recent review of the Stages Dash units, in the comparison table with the Bolt and Edge 530, only the Edge allows on-unit impromptu intervals to be set up.

santoku 03-18-20 12:30 PM


Originally Posted by Timdugan (Post 21372737)
I bought a Bolt to replace a Garmin 510 which served me well. The Bolt does everything I need it to do, and is much more intuitive than the Garmin. if I were shopping today I would definitely look at the Roam which wasnít available.

While I like the idea of the Roam, the price is way off the mark considering they didn't increase the processing power of the unit. If I was a heavy user of dynamic navigation, I would consider the Roam or Edge 830/1030, but I'm not.

I really appreciated everyone's feedback, and settled on the Bolt for my current needs profile, despite it being a few years old now. I purchased the recent Stealth Black edition, and will appreciate it as an incremental upgrade from my Lezyne Super GPS.

woodcraft 03-18-20 09:45 PM


Originally Posted by santoku (Post 21372774)
While I like the idea of the Roam, the price is way off the mark considering they didn't increase the processing power of the unit. If I was a heavy user of dynamic navigation, I would consider the Roam or Edge 830/1030, but I'm not.

I really appreciated everyone's feedback, and settled on the Bolt for my current needs profile, despite it being a few years old now. I purchased the recent Stealth Black edition, and will appreciate it as an incremental upgrade from my Lezyne Super GPS.


Better for reliability, no?


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