Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Cycling computer recommendation....

Notices
Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Cycling computer recommendation....

Old 03-12-20, 05:07 PM
  #1  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
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 !
santoku is offline  
Old 03-12-20, 06:07 PM
  #2  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,300

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1583 Post(s)
Liked 298 Times in 210 Posts
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.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 03-12-20, 06:59 PM
  #3  
bobwysiwyg
Senior Member
 
bobwysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: 961' 42.28į N, 83.78į W (A2)
Posts: 2,277

Bikes: Mongoose Selous, Trek DS

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 908 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 162 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
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.
bobwysiwyg is online now  
Likes For bobwysiwyg:
Old 03-12-20, 08:35 PM
  #4  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
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. View Post
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 is offline  
Old 03-12-20, 08:36 PM
  #5  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
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 ?
santoku is offline  
Old 03-12-20, 10:04 PM
  #6  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 16,235

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 101 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2340 Post(s)
Liked 400 Times in 295 Posts
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.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 03-12-20, 10:06 PM
  #7  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
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 !
santoku is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 07:31 AM
  #8  
Theypeedonmyrug
Banned.
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Connecticut coast
Posts: 44

Bikes: 2018 Trek Domain SLR6

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 38 Times in 17 Posts


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.
Theypeedonmyrug is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 07:50 AM
  #9  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Theypeedonmyrug View Post
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 !
santoku is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 09:43 AM
  #10  
Rides4Beer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: SC
Posts: 1,026

Bikes: Defy | Revolt

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 532 Post(s)
Liked 427 Times in 238 Posts
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).

Rides4Beer is online now  
Likes For Rides4Beer:
Old 03-13-20, 09:46 AM
  #11  
MidTNBrad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Franklin, TN
Posts: 270

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 & 1999 Litespeed Tuscany

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Liked 37 Times in 24 Posts
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.
MidTNBrad is offline  
Likes For MidTNBrad:
Old 03-13-20, 09:49 AM
  #12  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
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 is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 09:50 AM
  #13  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by MidTNBrad View Post
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 ?
santoku is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 09:59 AM
  #14  
MidTNBrad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Franklin, TN
Posts: 270

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 & 1999 Litespeed Tuscany

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Liked 37 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by santoku View Post
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.
MidTNBrad is offline  
Likes For MidTNBrad:
Old 03-13-20, 10:00 AM
  #15  
Rides4Beer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: SC
Posts: 1,026

Bikes: Defy | Revolt

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 532 Post(s)
Liked 427 Times in 238 Posts
Originally Posted by santoku View Post
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.
Rides4Beer is online now  
Likes For Rides4Beer:
Old 03-13-20, 10:41 AM
  #16  
topflightpro
Senior Member
 
topflightpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,836
Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1508 Post(s)
Liked 234 Times in 156 Posts
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.
topflightpro is online now  
Likes For topflightpro:
Old 03-13-20, 12:05 PM
  #17  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
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 :-)
santoku is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 12:26 PM
  #18  
surak
Senior Member
 
surak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 940

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Canyon Inflite AL SLX, Giant Contend SL Disc 2, Priority Continuum Onyx, Santana Vision, Kent Dual-Drive Tandem

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 369 Post(s)
Liked 133 Times in 84 Posts
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.
surak is offline  
Likes For surak:
Old 03-13-20, 12:37 PM
  #19  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by surak View Post
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 ?
santoku is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 01:50 PM
  #20  
surak
Senior Member
 
surak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 940

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Canyon Inflite AL SLX, Giant Contend SL Disc 2, Priority Continuum Onyx, Santana Vision, Kent Dual-Drive Tandem

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 369 Post(s)
Liked 133 Times in 84 Posts
Originally Posted by santoku View Post
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.
surak is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 02:09 PM
  #21  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,300

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1583 Post(s)
Liked 298 Times in 210 Posts
I think Garmin is blowing out stock, Edge 520 Plus $200

https://www.clevertraining.com/garmi...cling-computer
Steve B. is offline  
Old 03-18-20, 12:06 PM
  #22  
Timdugan
newbie
 
Timdugan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Alexandria, Va
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
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.
Timdugan is offline  
Likes For Timdugan:
Old 03-18-20, 12:24 PM
  #23  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by surak View Post
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 is offline  
Old 03-18-20, 12:30 PM
  #24  
santoku
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Timdugan View Post
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.
santoku is offline  
Likes For santoku:
Old 03-18-20, 09:45 PM
  #25  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 5,055
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1377 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 391 Times in 238 Posts
Originally Posted by santoku View Post
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?
woodcraft is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.