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Wahoo vs Garmin – Two Best Sub $400 Bike Computer Comparison

Cycling computers were originally designed as a specialized tool to collect all of your cycling metrics. However, new high-end models, such as the two bike units we compare in this article, do far more than just record routes and statistics.

These models also function as advanced GPS navigation systems, they display live weather updates, sync notifications from your cellphone, and even integrate with your bicycle’s components.

The bicycle computer has become an all-in-one tool to accompany you on every ride. Their functionality allows users to stay safe on the road while delivering unmatched convenience by having everything you need conveniently mounted to your handlebars.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at, and compare the most popular bicycle computers available in the range of $400.

Garmin and Wahoo are currently the major players in the market and each company produces top-quality products. That being said, despite similar pricing, the product specifications vary hugely amongst the 2 models we have chosen.

In order to help you make the right decision on which bike computer to pick, we’ve described each unit, wrapping up by highlighting their unique pros and cons at the end of the article.

group of cyclist on asphalt road


 

Table of Contents

101

T E C H S P E C S

– Garmin Edge 830

– Wahoo Bolt Core

B E S T  O F  C O M P A R I S O N

FAQ

 


 

 

Garmin Edge 830 GPS
Tech Specs

Product image for black

REI Score: 4.2/5 out of 290+ ratings

Price: $400
REI Co-op

Weight – 2.8oz (79.1g)
Dimensions [L x W x H] – 3.2″ x 1.9″ x .08 (82mm x 50mm x 20mm)

Garmin has traditionally dominated the bicycle computer market, doing so by consistently producing quality devices and software. With the Edge 830 comes all of Garmin’s reliability, functionality, and sleek design.

The Edge 830 includes the usual connectivity features, as with all of Garmin’s premium models.

The Edge 830 finds and connects to other devices in seconds setting the standard for connectivity of bicycle computers. Garmin’s Edge 830 is widely supported, integrating with all third-party apps (including Strava Live Segments), as well as the unrivaled Garmin Cycle Maps. This makes the Edge 830 a pleasure to use.

Navigation is fast and easy due to the highly responsive screen and advanced map system. However, the Edge 830’s rerouting function is slower than its main competitors.

The unit also boasts an exceptional 20-hour battery life, 3 more than the Wahoo, and 8 more than the Karoo 2 by Hammerhead.

 

FEATURES

  • VO2 max, recovery, training balance, heat and altitude acclimation, nutrition, hydration, and more
  • Display: 246x322pixels
  • PIN PROTECTED BIKE ALARM! (Notifies your smartphone if your bike is moved)
  • Group messaging and tracking
  • Preloaded routable Garmin Cycle Maps
  • Waterproof rating: IPX7

ELECTRONICS

  • Battery life up to 20h with GPS (Up to 40h of additional battery life)

CONNECTIVITY

  • Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
  • iPhone, Android
  • Trailforks
  • Connect IQ
  • MTB Dynamics

INCLUDES

  • Garmin Edge 830 unit
  • Flush out-front mount, standard mount
  • Tether
  • USB cable
  • Instructions guide

Availability

REI.com


 

 

Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM GPS
Tech Specs

wahoo fitness elemnt roam gps

REI Score: 4.5/5 out of 285+ ratings

Price: $380
REI Co-op

Weight: 3.3oz (94g)
Dimensions [L x W x H] – 3.5″ x 2.3″ x 0.7″ (89mm x 55mm x 18mm)

Wahoo has been slowly eating into Garmin’s control of the cycling computer market. They have done so by building simple, yet unshakably reliable devices.

The Roam’s on-device functionality is limited, with many features only accessible via their application. That being said, the lightweight software means the device runs smoothly and without bugs. Cellphone connectivity means that all data is instantly backed-up on the Wahoo and third-party apps.

The reliability of the software is complimented by a durable chassis featuring damage-resistant Gorilla Glass and a waterproof casing. This combination ensures the Elemnt Roam performs in all conditions.

With their latest model the Element they have added coloring functionality and a larger screen so the navigation system functions better. However, navigation functionality is not as comprehensive as its 2 competitors.

Another benefit of purchasing a Wahoo device is that they use OpenStreetMaps maps. These maps are free for the worldwide version, whereas users must pay for Garmin’s worldwide version.

A final caveat to the Elemnt Roam is it doesn’t feature a touchscreen, but that doesn’t detract from its user-friendliness.

iOS & Android

FEATURES

  • 2.7″ display
  • Gorilla Glass screen resists damage from scratches, bumps, and drops
  • Touchscreen and button operated
  • Two sturdy and secure mounting options
  • Waterproof rating: IPX7 (Waterproof up to 5ft)

ELECTRONICS

  • Battery life: 17h

CONNECTIVITY

  • Dual-band ANT+
  • Bluetooth
  • WiFi
  • ELEMNT Companion App
  • Electronic Gear Shifters – (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, SRAM eTAP, FSA WE, Campagnolo EPS
  • BSXinsight, Moxy Muscle Oxygen Sensors
  • Pioneer Pedaling Mintor

Wahoo Kickr, Kickr Core, Kickr Snap

Strava, Best Bike Split, Komoot, Ride With GPS, Relieve

INCLUDES

  • ELEMNT ROAM Unit
  • Intergrated Out-frount mount & Stem Mount
  • Quick Start Guide

Availability

REI.com


 

 

BEST OF COMPARISON


Full comparison:
Garmin 1030+, Wahoo Elemnt ROAM, Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, Iphone X


 

 

Garmin 830 Edge

PROs

  • Long 20 hour battery life
  • Incident detection feature
  • Access to Garmin platforms for ride analysis
  • Detailed maps
  • Integrates seamlessly with all third-party apps
  • Pairs quickly with new devices

CONs

  • Some software bugs
  • Poor rerouting and in-ride navigation changes
  • Must pay for worldwide map function

Wahoo ELMENT Roam GPS

PROs

  • User-friendly customizable interface
  • Excellent companion app
  • Runs smoothly, without bugs
  • Good battery life of 17 hours
  • Durable hardware and reliable software
  • Easily readable screen

CONs

  • Lack of functionality on the device
  • Basic navigation system – No on-device routing
  • No touchscreen
  • Chunky design

 

FAQ

 


 

Availability

GarminREI.com

WahooREI.com

 

Image courtesy: Unsplash.com

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