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I am a bit of what you’d lovingly call a “tech geek.”  It may be because my background is in engineering, or it may be that I just like really cool devices that increase efficiency and make me better at what I do.  Last year at Interbike, I saw the Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT and was excited that there was a new bicycle fitness computer chief in town.  The ease of use, connectivity to apps and devices (like theTICKR heart rate monitor and the KICKR trainer that helped me train for my races abroad this winter/spring), and other products from Wahoo Fitness piqued my interest.
The ELEMNT computer is a newer product to the market so I wanted to share with you my experiences with it.First and foremost- you need a smartphone to operate the ELEMNT.  This idea is a bit edgy, but I like it.  I was shocked when Apple stopped having DVD drives on their computer – sometimes you need to be the leader with the direction technology is going and I think that this is an innovative move by Wahoo Fitness.  I was skeptical at first about not using my computer with my bike computer, but now I love it.  Using the computer with my bike computer seems clunky after using the ELMENT for a few months.  I’ve used the ELMENT on road rides, mountain bike rides, races, with the trainer, and in 4 countries so far.
So let’s get started.Open the box.
I did an unboxing video because I am always fascinated with packaging and ease of use out of the box.  I hate having to spend hours trying to figure out how to configure something and was pleased with the packaging and out of box experience.



The screen is 2.7 inches and it weighs 105 grams.

You can see it in the line-up with an Edge 510 and an Edge 800.
Something different Wahoo Fitness has done is eliminated the touch screen idea from cycling computers.  In a touch screen world with iPhones and everything else, I was curious how it would go. However, I wear full finger gloves when I ride and the way user interface of the ELEMNT doesn’t require the need for a touch screen.  I also ride in all kinds of weather conditions and I had scratched the screen on my last cycling computer when things were muddy and wet when I was trying to swipe right and left.
You can configure a LOT of different data fieldsand by using the up and down arrows on the right side, you can display different data fields.  If you can think of it, they have it.  Power, speed, balance, SMO2 and so much more. You can configure different pages as well.  I liked the “climbing” page for mylast raceso I knew when the torture was almost over! All of this is done using the app on your phone.  Instead of tediously scrolling through menus on the bike computer itself, you can easily choose (from a wide range of options) what you’d like to see on the ELEMNT as well as toggle in and out to show more and less data fields.

A lot of you have asked me aboutGPS and mapping functions on my Facebook and Instagram.  You can load navigation files files directly from Strava and a few other apps.  However, I was waiting for direct upload of a gpx file to the Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT.  That feature is also now available and I had a “crash” test (however, there was no crashing along the way!) in South Africa just 1.5 weeks ago.  I did a 900km stage race across South Africa called the Joberg2c.  The kicker?  It was

self-navigated and 9 days long. ALSO, it was the first time I used navigation on my ELEMNT.

Talk about trust and faith in the product!  It did not let me down.  You can zoom all the way in to 50m.  With the pre-uploaded GPX file, you can see the course profile on the climbing page so you know when the downhill is coming or when to attack on the climb.  I found that really useful.

Other fun features of the ELEMNT that I like are the LED lights on the sides and top of the computer.  The LEDs on the side light up and are colored based on your heart rate zone (all of this is formatted in the app).  The top LEDs light up based on your notifications (like a message or if you are off course on your GPS).
The ELMENT comes with 3 mounts; a stem cap, a TT/aerobar style mount, and an Out in Front Mount.K-Edge also makes a number of mounts for the ELEMNT including an adjustable stem mount, TT style mount, and also GoPro combo mounts.  They K-Edge mounts are beautifully CNC’d and strong.

Are you a bit addicted to staying connected?  I am!Staying connected is my job, but I don’t always want to stop every time I hear my phone go off on a ride. Some messages are important while others can wait, am I right?  The ELEMNT has the option to show the few first lines of a text message, email, and also show incoming calls. I have the text turned on for my training rides and it as been helpful and actually less disturbing than stopping to check my phone.  You can decide if that ping on your phone is urgent enough to respond immediately or not.

So now you’ve done your ride, it’s recorded in your ELEMNT.  Now what?It was a bit of a mind bend after years of plugging my Garmin into my computer to do everything.  “They’re IN the computer?!” The ELEMNT uses the app and bluetooth to send all that juicy data to the app. From the app, you can auto-upload to all your favorite different training programs.  With just a tap, I send my files to both Strava and Training Peaks instead of tediously having to upload them one at a time to each program like I had to do in the past.
Now let’s talk about device streamlining.
You can connect your ELEMNT to the KICKR trainer and actually use the GPS of a route.  The KICKR Power Trainer will adjust resistance based on climbs (or flat sections) along the way.  It’s a great way to make your training more specific for what your rides and races look like.  The TICKR heart rate monitor also connects with the app.  The ELEMNT also will work with both ANTI+ and bluetooth heart rate monitors.
Live tracking
There is a tracking mode that can provide a link to friends and family to show your exact location.  There is also the option to track other ELEMNT users during the ride.  This feature is not for me (unless someone had to come pick me up) but I think it’s a fun option to have.
The developers of the app and product are highly attentive with updates happening all the time.  The product has only been on the market since March 14.  Out of the gates, this product is highly competitive and it’s only going to get better!
Let’s get down to it though…
How much?  $329
I think this is a very fair price compared to the price of other computers in its category and all the functionality you get.  I have had mine for a couple months and have put many many miles on it.  It has not crashed once.  That’s more than I can say about my Garmin 510 I had!
Battery Life? Claimed is 17 hours, but I think it depends on if you are running the GPS and how much you are zooming and moving screens. I typically get 14-15 hours out of mine.  The longest continuous ride with it so far was 7 hours, but I know they’ll be even longer ones this summer!
They sponsor me, but let’s still keep this objective.What product developments would I love to see?
I’d love to see a color screen, a closer zoom(like 25m) on the GPS, more colorful casing, and possibly a slightly smaller size.
Bottom line: out of the gates, the Wahoo ELMENT is an incredible and innovative cycling computer, good value for the dollar, and is easy to use.  Two thumbs up!



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