I have been keen to get my hands on the Wahoo ELEMNT ever since Ian from Wahoo came in earlier in the year. When working in a bike shop it is rare to be shown a product that genuinely blows you away on so many fronts, we get to see some incredible kit here at Pembrokeshire Bikes but the Wahoo GPS computers really impressed and I made the uncharacteristic decision to state my desire to stock them on the spot! (Anyone who knows me will appreciate that I tend to like time to consider decisions like that). After Ian had finished running through all the features on the ELEMNT he had in his hand, I was anticipating the price, expecting the ELEMNT to be around £400-£500, but when I asked the question I had genuine surprise in that it was actually £250! So at this early point in my review, so far so good!
I have had my very own ELEMNT for just over a week now and have had the chance to really check out what it is capable of and how it has affected my cycling. The ELEMNT comes very nicely packaged in a premium box that has been well designed and includes a transparent section to showcase the device – setting it up was easy with the three mount options provided (out-front, aerobar and stem) and getting the device settings right was a doddle with the companion app on my iPhone (also available on Android). When you set up your Wahoo account, it gives you the option to link up your Strava, RideWithGPS, TrainingPeaks, Today’sPlan, SportTracks, MMF and Apple Health App, and you can toggle for your rides to be synched automatically when you complete a ride (which can be a little embarrassing when like me you decide to take your bike half a mile to the shop to get some milk and then back, for it to be uploaded to Strava, the Kudo’s I got for that gave me a good laugh though!).
The Wahoo range comes with a 60 day free trial of Strava Premium (which is £5.99 a month or £44 a year) which is a great asset to the ELEMNT, as you can star segments which the device will give you warning about when you are approaching and then give you amazing insight into your attempt to beat your PB – a fantastic feature, especially when you are close to a PB and it encourages you with its orange lights and display to give a final push – I guess the only negative I found while out on the road doing the climb into Jeffreyston is that it shows you where you are on the profile of the climb, and when you are really giving it the beans early on, id rather not know! I saw half way up that I was on par with my PB, but armed with all this information and the extra bit I had in my legs I upped my wattage and ended up with a 7 second PB which was really rewarding.
The device gives you lots of data, which includes: Speed (Current, Average, Max), Cadence, HR, Power, Distance, Climb, Elevation, Gradient, Time, Time Elapsed, Temperature, as well as mapping and notifications from your phone, great to decide when your phone rings whether it is worth pulling over to answer it! When you are on a key segment on Strava, you get a visual and audio warning before hand, and then get live data on your current attempts time against your PB, how far behind/ahead you are of your PB, the elevation profile and where you are on it and an estimated finish time. All very handy and adds even more fun to your ride and KOM/PB attempts.
Another great feature is the live tracking. You can choose who sees this and how long they have access for, but for me this feature is ridiculously handy – I commute to and from work often and with this feature my wife can see how far from home I am without calling me, mostly just to make sure I am ok if I am running behind! I have set it up so that when I leave on a ride it automatically sends a text to my wife with a link that shows a map with where I am and the route I am on – it even includes speed, time and climb data, although I don’t think she is particularly interested in that albeit perhaps telling me off for a daring descent!
The ELEMNT connects to SRAM eTap and Di2 to show gearing and battery life which is handy for those of you that use electric shifting, and with a battery life itself of 18 hours, it doesn’t need to be charged every night.
Downloading routes is a doddle and the map is easy to follow – the monochrome display is very similar to that found on the Amazon Kindle, it is easy to see in direct sunlight, and lights up so it is easy to see in the dark too.
A final point is that the device updates relatively often via the link with your phone and with this on occasion come new features, the functionality has already improved an awful lot since the launch of the device, and it continues to do so.
So to summarise, the Wahoo ELEMNT which is the official GPS computer of Team Sky and GCN has been a real plus to my cycling experience, it was very easy to set up, very very easy to use and the incredible feature list is only matched by its seriously competitive price.
The ELEMNT is available until the end of this month (July) with £50 cashback too when you trade in any old cycling computer you may have lying around! Come in store for a demonstration or you can order yours here
More information can also be found on Wahoo’s Website