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A teammate for your smartphone.
When you head out on a ride, it's helpful to have a smartphone with you for many reasons, and your phone takes on even more importance if you're using it to record your ride data on your favorite fitness app. We understand if the idea of mounting a device that does almost everything for you onto your skinny, vulnerable handlebars is nerve-wracking. Wahoo's RFLKT Bike Computer will wirelessly display the ride data your phone is recording on a screen mounted to your handlebars. Meanwhile, your phone itself stays safely tucked away in your jersey pocket, protected from the elements and road debris.
The RFLKT is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible, and it will work with popular cycling apps to store your data and let you know when you've conquered a new course record right on the screen in front of you. With compatible sensors, the computer also registers cadence, and you can customize the large, backlit screen to display the fields that are the most important to you during your ride. Unlike your phone, the RFLKT computer is waterproof and shockproof, and it runs on a replaceable coin cell battery.
- Item #WHA0007
- Q & A
Nice alternative to a computer
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Wahoo has done a nice job in bundling the horsepower of my iPhone with an easy to use interface. The synchornization of the unit with my phone was seamless and there are a ton of screen options to fit my needs. The backlight is a bit weak and does not iluminate as thoroughly as I would like but it is by no means a deal breaker.
Great Affordable Computer Stand-In
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
It seemed silly to me to spend $300-500 on a bike computer with the latest iPhone in my jersey, the RFLKT is a great option if you are like me and couldn't justify the expense of a separate bike computer.
I echo most of Nathan's review and have the following caveats:
The difference between the RFLKT and RFLKT+ is the ANT bridge and an altimeter, that's it. All of my sensors are Bluetooth and I'm fine with the phone's altimeter so I went with the RFLKT. If you have some ANT gear or feel strongly about the altimeter on phones being inferior, get the RFLKT+.
The biggest issue I had at first was snapping it into the holder. This caused three drops, one that took looking through the weeds on the side of the road to find. I figured out I was putting it in backwards so make sure you install the bracket the right way (the release tab should be at the top, not the bottom).
The final caveat is to be careful with the Wahoo app. I agree with Nathan that I prefer using the Wahoo app to record and then export to Strava and/or RunKeeper. The main reason for this is the displays are then customizable. If you use Strava then there's some pre-set screens you can't change and I didn't like them as much as what I could customize. The auto-pause function works great so trust it and don't fool with pauses. Fooling with them and switching apps caused me to lose half a ride (and I crushed it so I was ticked!).
As far as use, this has been a fantastic piece of kit. I use the Wahoo RPM cadence sensor and the TICKR heartrate monitor and, as expected, these integrate flawlessly in the app. With my phone in one of the side jersey pockets (middle seems to lose heartrate monitor signal) I get perfect recordings and it's easy to do.
You can totally customize the displays to be what you prefer to see, you can even control your music with it. I customized my buttons and screens to my liking and it's great.
This has been a great buy for me, the app is great, the integration with other services and the sensors is easy to set up and works perfectly. I give it 4 1/2 stars, needs some tweaks mentioned to get 5 from me.
Great Visual Display
I've been using the RFLKT all winter while I've been spinning on my trainer, and I have recently taken it out on a few rides out doors. Initially the RFLKT didn't wow me, but the more I use it, the more I like it. The fact that it is such a simple way to view key data points on a ride without the fussiness of touch screens and smartphone mounts makes it brilliant.
The initial setup of the device is incredibly simple. I first connected it to Strava and was surprised that it loaded some great default settings for the app. You can start and stop your ride, view ride time, view the time of day, and view essential ride metrics (speed, cadence, heart rate etc). I also fired up the Wahoo fitness app and connected the device. I really like the app and ended up recording all of my training rides with it and later sending them to Strava.
One thing Wahoo doesn't seem to be very good at is providing instructions to use their devices. I ended up watching some YouTube video to learn how to customize the device settings. The RFLKT is incredibly customizable. You can pick and choose all kinds of data to display on the device for your ride. You can even use the device to control your music. I found this to be a great feature while on the trainer.
I do have a couple small issues with the RFLKT that are keeping me from giving this a full five stars. First, the device has a backlight, but you have to set it up in your settings and use one of the 4 buttons to activate it. I also notice that when the backlight is on it flickers a little which is a little annoying during a long ride. This may be a non issue for a lot of people using it exclusively to ride outdoors, but I use it in a dark attic when I am training. In normal lighting conditions, the device is great.
The one other issue I have is that the buttons don't give hardly any tactile feedback when you press them. On cooler days when I am riding with gloves I can't tell if I pressed the start button or not. Even without gloves, I'll press it a second time not realizing I had already pressed it. This is a small thing, but it does force me to think a little harder while using it.
The device comes with three types of connectors for your bike. One to mount it on the stem, one to mount it on your handlebars, and one to mount it with some type of fancy connector I don't have. The device does drain my phone battery faster than normal, but I haven't had any problems running out of a charge. I often ride with a heart rate monitor, and I haven't ever lost connectivity.
Overall, I am very happy with the product. I ride with my phone safely stored in my pocket and I have a simple visual display of my workout.