WAHOO ELEMNT BOLT REVIEW

And now my road bike is part spaceship. The Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT is a compact powerhouse of a computer. With one of the most unique forms compared to others, this unit is designed to be aero. 

The ELEMNT BOLT comes with three mounts that should fit everyones needs. It can easily attach to your bikes stem, handlebar (the one I prefer), and of course aero bar for you speed demons out there. Additionally, the Bundle edition comes with the TICKR heart rate monitor, cadence, and RPM speed sensors. This is an incredible value for the competitive or enthusiast types interested in tracking metrics.

One thing I love about the BOLT is how straight to the point it is. There’s no gimmicks. The folks at Wahoo really put a lot of thought into what really matters in a high-quality bike computer. Their decision to not have colour may initially been seen has a downside. However, the use of bold letters and numbers on an LCD screen are highly visible and most importantly, battery efficient. Wahoo claims the unit can last 15 hours. 

Another important piece of the puzzle Wahoo nailed is the menu system. It’s incredibly easy to navigate and view. When you’re on the go, you don’t have time to fiddle with poorly systems, so I was really pleased to use this. This is accomplished with the data pages works. The BOLT displays core data pages that you can flip through with the “page” button on the bottom right corner. These pages feature map/routing, data fields, climb, laps, and Strava segments. 

The BOLT has a series of LED lights on the top. They can be used for menu navigation, or can be used to display heart rate zones, speed, or power. In my opinion this is a really cool stand out feature that is right there in your face. 

The Wahoo Companion App is really neat as well. What the unit displays can only be customized via the free application. It’s very easy to navigate to options such as switching metrics and distances from miles to kilometres and so on. From here you can decide what parameters are most important for you to visualize while you ride. 

Now for my real world use of the ELEMNT Bolt. I participated in my first swim, bike, run at the 2018 Toronto Triathlon Festival (TTF). It was a sprint distance consisting of a 750m swim in Lake Ontario, followed by a 20km ride along the Gardiner Expressway passing by landmarks such as at the Rogers Centre, and finally a 5km run through Ontario Place. While this sounds pretty standard, the weather was anything but. There was a tremendous amount of rain and wind that morning. This made my first experience a very memorable one in bad and good ways. But I still enjoyed every moment of it as I trained hard for it. I’m happy to say that the ELEMNT Bolt stayed darn true to its name and held up in the most extreme elements. It was the worst weather storm in TTF history to date. The high contrast of the LCD display really stood out and I had no issues at all viewing data while cruising through the harsh winds and pouring rain.

Overall, Wahoo Fitness did a most excellent job at creating this compact yet super powerful and highly practical GPS bike computer. Yes, they are a relatively new company to the scene. But because they are so laser focused on a few key core products, what they create really stands out from the rest of the pack.