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ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer
The ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer from Wahoo takes everything we loved about its BOLT model and gives it some significant updates making it the most powerful and intuitive computer from the brand to date. It's not only Wahoo's first color screen display, but it also added on-device navigation capabilities, as well as integration with Singletracks and MTB Project. These features not only make the ROAM easier to see and use, but it can also help you find routes and get you safely back on course or to a specific waypoint when you need to most.
Thankfully, Wahoo kept its excellent Element Companion App as the setup and interaction app for the new ROAM. It uses the simple interface of pairing your Apple or Android smartphone to customize settings, configure workout pages, upload routes, and link sensors. Additionally, it stores your ride history and automatically syncs workouts to your favorite training apps.
Once up and running, you'll immediately notice it's all new vibrant color screen. Its 2.7in screen is slightly larger than the 2.2in display of the BOLT and its durable Gorilla Glass lens makes viewing your data and following routes easier than ever. And to keep you on course with mapping and fitness, Quicklook LEDs provide an easy way to monitor power, heart rate, speed, turn-by-turn directions, and other notifications. The BOLT provided LEDs across the top of the computer and the ROAM adds to this with LEDs on the vertical axis as well. And while you're in a custom curated data page, its Perfect View Zoom, afforded by its side buttons, lets you zoom in and out for larger font or more fields.
Another area where Wahoo really shines is with its navigation. With the ROAM you can navigate to a saved location or a point on the map directly from the screen. It will find the most direct course and automatically get you rerouted back on course. And with its Singletracks and MTB Project integration, you'll get navigational help while on the trails too. You can get turn-by-turn directions via on-screen prompts and scrolling LEDs from uploaded routes or by using the Take Me Anywhere feature that generates cycling optimized routes with turn-by-turn cues. Other mapping features include Live Tracking that lets you locate friends or other ELEMNT users with a real-time location on your map screen, making meeting up easier, or the ability to share your location with friends and family by text or email. Lastly, its GPS capabilities and software integration let you tap into Strava Live Segments which alerts you before the segment begins, displays your progress status for the goal you set, and even gives you a unique Final Push when you are close to hitting a PR or taking a KOM.
Its Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+ connectivity allows for easy firmware updates and pairing with sensors that read power, heart rate, speed, cadence, and even muscle oxygen. If you have the sensor, it can display the data. It even reads your electronic drivetrain, displaying data from Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS, and even FSA's new WE system with details such as gear display and battery life. Lastly, the ROAM pairs with its KICKR Smart Trainers allowing you to train in four different modes: Route simulation, ERG, Level, or Passive allowing you to record your workout while controlled by another app.
- Wahoo's latest computer with a color screen and new mapping features
- ELEMNT Companion App allows for an intuitive user interface
- Customizable pages let you zoom in for larger font or more fields
- Transmits wirelessly via Bluetooth, ANT+, or Wi-Fi
- Integrates with electronic drivetrains for battery and gear status
- Syncs live with apps for real-time data and Strava segment hunting
- Live tracking and smartphone notifications keep you in touch
- The rechargeable battery has up to 17 hours between charges
- Item #WHAC00N
- Q & A
Too Techy for me
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I have had a Garmin 800 unit for 7 years. (still working) I was able to get replacement battery via Amazon. I wanted a Bluetooth gps for texts while riding. a fellow rider ( an I.T. guy)has Wahoo and likes very much. In fairness to Wahoo I am familiar with Garmin functionality. The phone app (I have Android) was the stumbling block navigating unit. Great price on wahoo for all the features. My experience with Garmin support has been excellent. The reason I returned for Garmin 830. Would need spend $600 for 1030 to equal features of Wahoo roam. Just a silly number for what I want a GPS computer do. Plus the 830 has newer internals. Wish Garmin would make 830 a little larger than my current 800...come on Garmin
Great Cycling Computer
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I've been using the Roam for a few weeks now and I couldn't be happier. My main use is for mountain biking and I was blown away by the turn by turn directions on the trails. No longer are the days of planning out a big route only to stop at every intersection to pull out my phone and look at Trailforks.
Right out of the box, set up was a breeze. Once you download the app it runs you through the basic set up and it'll be fully ready to use within 10 minutes. Wahoo is "integrated" with MTB project so you can add routes from the app and they will automatically sync to your device. If you prefer to use other mapping services like Trailforks you can just as easily download the GPX file and upload them to the computer all from your phone.
The computer itself is extremely intuitive and you can easily scroll between screens while pedaling.
I did run into one minor issue with the mounts but not big enough of a deal to knock off a star. If you are running 35mm bars, the taper from the center out to the grips is going to be too steep for the out-front mount. It will clamp down and feel secure but once you hit some chunky downhill it will eventually come loose. The stem mount included is also not suitable for short mtn bike stems. I am running a 40mm stem and it wouldn't work. I ended up purchasing a K-Edge stem mount and it works flawlessly. Be sure to grab the adjustable version if you're running a short stem.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Pquigley@backcountry.com
Roam if you want to
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The Roam is an awesome computer. I'm one of those customers that has been on the same compuer platform for quite awhile and I was really reluctant to make the switch to Wahoo. I got the chance to use this one and I loved it immediately. Setup is extremely intuitive.
The two things I loved most about this device were the reliability of it and the battery life. I am a long distance rider and I was tired of my computer dying after 10 hours of riding. With the Roam, I found myself worrying for no reason about this I easily did 15 hours on it and only went down by about 50% on the battery. I imagine I could use it much longer before needing to charge.
The second reason I loved it was the reliability. I have had a lot of connection problems on my other devices on a different platform. The Roam never failed me once in it's ability to connect, and stay connected. I felt like it gave a more accurate reading of my total feet climbed, and it delivered on all the data points I was hoping for.
Navigation on this device is probably the one thing that I would say needs a little touching up. While it is very easy to get the device to give you a route from one place to the other, I sometimes found that I wanted to create a specific route with multiple climbs and destinations, and this is where things got more difficult. Perhaps with some more time on it, I might be able to dial that in. I will say though that I liked the interface while using the navigation. The ability for the lights to indicate the need to turn was extremely useful.
I love this device and I'd recommend it to anyone. As a stand alone rating I give it 5 stars comparing it against other platforms and not against its predecessors. The only caveat I'd say on this is that if you're a data driven person, you might be happier with Garmin. However, if you're a person who likes simplicity with a dash of data to top it off, or if you get all your data on strava once your ride uploads, this device should work really well for you.
Great product but with a few issues
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Having loved using the Wahoo Element I have been anxiously awaiting the new "color" Roam for months. Generally, it does what was expected and shares all of the winning features of the Element. But, there were some glitches that could be improved. Set-up is incredibly easy including pairing heart rate monitor, power meter, etc. The new display is razor sharp and the color helps a bit with navigation. The Climb screen is useful for showing terrain on your route that is upcoming. Turn-by-turn navigation is nearly flawless. Workout data choices are extensive and easy to set up. The unit is slightly smaller than the Element but maintains the same screen size. So, what's not to love?
1. "Back on track"-if you wander off your route, the Wahoo lights up red LEDs on top of the unit. It also calculates and displays a blue route back onto your course. The problem is that when you rejoin your route downstream, the map indicates a wrong turn. Rather than knowing that you want to proceed with the route in progress, it tries to send you back to where you originally wandered off course! This could cost a rider many wasted miles. Also, there is no turn-by-turn navigation or street names on the re-routing map.
2. The bottom buttons- the new buttons are much harder to access. You most put the end of your finger into a depression and push. It is almost like they want you to use your fingernails. They were nearly impossible to push with long-fingered gloves on. The buttons on the original Element are far superior.
3. Screen colors- There are only a few colors available but they could be used better. When navigating the route is displayed in black. Unfortunately, all minor roads (commonly used for cycling) are also black, so the route does not stand out any better against the background than the monochrome Wahoo Element. It would be much better if the route was displayed in blue (which they use for re-routing).
4. The "Take me to" function is a bit silly and very difficult to actually use. The scrolling and magnification take a lot of time. It is much easier to just use the "take me to" feature on the Wahoo app. It is amazing how fast it will build a bike friendly route and transfer it to the Roam device.
5. Strava-No turn-by-turn instructions
6. "Back to Start"- This works very well except that it has no clue about one-way streets and tries to route you down them. Garmin has largely solved this issue.
7. After weeks of use, I have had one system crash while navigating that resulted in lost data. However, my Garmin 520 Plus would have experienced several crashes in the same time period.
Given these few gripes, the Roam would still rate as my favorite bike computer. The navigation and maps are not as advanced as Garmin but the setup is so much easier that I would not even consider going back. I just hope that Wahoo continues to improve their product and is responsive to fixing glitches.
Not Enough Differentiation
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
...and yet I still give 4 stars. Why? Because Wahoo remains the most user-friendly GPS computer on the market. While the Roam does not have enough features for me to justify the differentiation between the regular Elemnt, it would still be my pick for a rider considering their first GPS computer.
Let's address the most marketed features of the Roam: Navigation. Most of the on-board features still rely heavily on a bluetooth connection to a smartphone running the Wahoo app. Integration with third party apps has increased significantly and I can now build and sync routes with Komoot (my personal favorite). I found the re-route feature to lag a bit and often not work at all when on unfamiliar trails/roads. Route to start is a pretty simple function and works as advertised. All in all, I could do with a little less reliance on a smartphone and more mapping features contained solely within the GPS unit.
The new color screen is noticeably more crisp than the grey scale screens of the Bolt and Elemnt. I never had an issue reading data fields even when scrolling through a full data screen and although I've never needed the durability and impact resistance of Gorilla Glass; I figure you don't need it until you do.
Wahoo continues to make simple and reliable GPS computers - which means you probably don't need the Roam if you already have an Elemnt or Elemnt Bolt. That said, if you're looking to make a change from the big G then this is the GPS unit for you!
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM
I see in the promo video they only show off road riding. Does this
computer only work for trail riding??
The Elemnt Roam is an excellent choice for any type of cycling. The route planning features have been highlighted for trail riding, but are also incredibly useful for road rides.
Does this computer give a FTP reading ?
Yes, if paired to a power meter, there are a variety of power and FTP metrics that can be displayed. Theses metrics can be selected in the ELEMNT app and the workout page can be customized to feature the metrics of your choice.