The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt connects to every sensor seamlessly, offers intuitive controls, and has a clear display so you'll have easy access to all the data you could ever want.
When I started using bike computers, the process of installing a wheel magnet, running a wire to a sensor on the fork, and then securing that wire to the frame was almost a training session in itself.
Today, it can still be stressful setting up sensors cadence measuring devices, powermeters, and heart rate monitors to work with your head unit. Add in touchscreen devices that don't work with sweaty hands and menus that don't tell you what you want to know but do tell you everything else, and you'll be ready to return to the days of a simple speed and distance computer.
This isn't the case with Wahoo's head units. The Elemnt Bolt paired with every device I tried, never once dropped connection or lost data and proved incredibly easy to use.
The Elemnt Bolt comes equipped with an out-front mount as well as a stem mount, meaning that setup on a road or mountain bike is a 30-second job. Once powered up, the free app makes it incredibly simple to choose the screens you will see, and the big tactile buttons on the device make it easy to navigate between screens. Within five minutes of unboxing the device, you can be out on the road and monitoring any of dozens of metrics.
Should your ride take you away from familiar roads or the device's claims of aerodynamic advantage lead to you travelling further than expected, the included app can give you effective turn-by-turn directions on the the pre-downloaded map.
Unlike some of the larger screen devices we tested, it is a little hard to browse the map on the device screen, but using the companion app made it easy to find a destination and transfer a route to the device. Once you're done training, simply connect to Wi-Fi or your phone's data plan to upload the ride to your preferred training app such as Strava or Training Peaks.
Cycling Tips compared the set-up experience of the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt to that of an Apple device, because it is simple and intuitive. I'm no programmer but I found it very easy to determine my data fields and get screens set up for long rides, climbing, intervals, and navigation. It's equally simple to transfer a route or workout to the device if you find yourself riding in a new area or sticking to a training program.
REI purchasers loved the robust and water-resistant design, the ability to integrate electronic drivetrains and see you gearing and battery life on the unit and the zoom in/out functions, which allow you to focus on one data field during a hard interval. I also enjoy the option to read and dismiss calls and texts during an interval.
For me, what I like most about the Elemnt bolt was not having to think about it. I put it on a bike, it picked up the power meter and the drivetrain and off I went. Any data I want, I could easily find, and setting up my data screens after unboxing was incredibly simple.
There are many other great features, like the LEDs that signal your power or speed relative to average, the aerodynamic shape of the computer, and the tiny bolt that holds the head unit on the mount and prevents loss in a crash.
I really value a bike computer that adds to the experience of riding rather than distracting from it, so I don't really feel I need a color screen bleeping at me all the time. The Wahoo hides a lot of technology in a small package and it uses that tech to add to your ride experience, which is really all I want from a GPS.
Pros: Intuitive menus and set up, comes with mount, maps pre-downloaded
Cons: Monochrome screen can make map-reading difficult, battery life is not as long as some models