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BeerTengoku

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Mar 14, 2021
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After trying out a Wahoo Elemnt that a friend lent me, and going back to using a phone mounted Android on a ride today, I came across Garmin's range in my local Giant Store as I was getting some parts for my touring bike. I really would like something specific to use on my bikes. And I have no idea which one to pick. I would like something that can do the following:
  • Automatic rerouting if I go off route - which is often as I tend to either take a "wrong" turn, or find something that I am interested in.
  • Syncs to Strava either via Wi-Fi or phone connection.
  • Connects to my Cateye sensors on my bike.
  • Connects to my android phone to display messages / calls / etc.
  • Touchscreen would be nice, but the device must be waterproof just in case I decide to start riding in poor weather or the weather turns for the worse.
  • Decent battery life - I don't want to be charging this up between every single ride I do. My rides vary in length from 2 to 6 hours, and sometimes I do overnight trips as well, so battery life would need to be 15hours+ minimum as during stops, I don't turn off my bike computer or Strava tracking.
  • Mounts - I have two bikes, so the mount should easily be removeable, or cheap to buy another one.
 

OneForTheRoad

Speeding Up
Jan 3, 2021
73
88
I don't have any experience with the Garmin devices, so I can't speak about it.

But I do have the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, which cover all your requirements, except the automatic re-routing.
This feature is present in the more expensive version, the Elemnt Roam.

You can see the comparison of the versions here:
https://en-jp.wahoofitness.com/devices/bike-computers

The only thing that disappoints me is that Wahoo devices only show notifications of calls, emails and messages of native apps, at least in iOS. It won't show any notifications of Gmail, outlook, facebook apps, for example.

Also, the DC Rainmaker have in-depth reviews of pretty much all bike computers available in the market.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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The default choices are Wahoo and Garmin, and they tick all the boxes (with the possible exception of having a touch screen). I have a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, FWIW, but unless you want to venture off main stream, these are your two choices. Personally, I decided against touch screens from the get go. Touch screens are useless if you have very sweaty hands or wear gloves. For anything that requires a larger screen, I use my smart phone. Its touch screen is 10x better than that of any bike computer.

I gravitated towards Wahoo, because of the zoom feature, which allows you to create pages and add/subtract data fields. On Garmin, you need to configure separate pages. I use the zoom feature all the time, and wouldn’t want to be without it. But I recognize Garmin makes good products. Garmin, I think, also allows for slightly more flexibility at times, at the expense of a more finicky setup procedure.

The best bang for the buck are the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and the Garmin Edge 530. The 830 is a 530 with a touch screen, and I am not a fan of touch screens on bike computers (you do you, though). Although I wish I would have gone for the larger Roam, because, well, my eyesight ain’t good.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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As for on the fly routing, I use the MapsMe app on my phone.
Yes, that’s important as well. For maps I always prefer my phone. I know my Wahoo is black-and-white, but even if my postage stamp-sized screen were color, it’d be no competition for my iPhone.
 

SJ1

SJ1
Aug 23, 2009
86
81
If battery life is a consideration then lezyne is a no brainer. Additionally they are super cheap, especially the Super Pro GPS model.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
3,063
4,603
I use an Edge 830.
I had a ride get cut short and I was able to select "to home - shortest route" and it mapped the ride for me in a matter of seconds.
This was a Yabitsu ride, so I was maybe 60km or so from home when I needed to alter plans and skip the beach.
I use the Garmin Ecosystem with a Fenix3 & Fenix5 watch and also have some other garmin bits, so I surely have a bias for their stuff.

Battery life on the edge has been fine for me - up to 8 hour rides and charging at the camp sites off a power pack - but they have other options offering up to 24 hours power.


I don't use cateye, so no idea about compatibility.
 

BeerTengoku

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Mar 14, 2021
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The only thing that disappoints me is that Wahoo devices only show notifications of calls, emails and messages of native apps, at least in iOS. It won't show any notifications of Gmail, outlook, facebook apps, for example.
Come to think of it, I hadn't thought about that option, and that is important. I seldom use messages, and prefer to use apps like Line, WhatsApp, etc to keep in contact with people, that Wahoo doesn't link up with. That's really put a spanner in the works of my thinking now. While I do have a Samsung watch, it's usually kept under my sleeves, with my phone in my jersey pocket on my back. It would be useful to have a device that does link up to messenger apps when needed. Ho-hum, more thinking to be done.

Personally, I decided against touch screens from the get go. Touch screens are useless if you have very sweaty hands or wear gloves. For anything that requires a larger screen, I use my smart phone. Its touch screen is 10x better than that of any bike computer.
Touchscreen would be nice, but it really isn't a deal breaker as long as the device has a simple navigation interface. The Wahoo I have right now is a tad annoying in that respect as I haven't worked out how to go "back" a page, as it seems I have to scroll through everything before coming back around.

As for on the fly routing, I use the MapsMe app on my phone.
Hadn't heard of it this, so will check it out. As long as it doesn't throw me down stairs (looking at you Google Maps) then it could be a nice little addition to the arsenal.
 

baribari

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May 28, 2010
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You might want to look into a Leomo Type S, which is basically just an Android smartphone. Karoo Hammerhead is similar, I think?
Stages also makes a bike computer, but I'm not sure how the functions compare to other high-end options.
 

BeerTengoku

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Mar 14, 2021
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You might want to look into a Leomo Type S, which is basically just an Android smartphone. Karoo Hammerhead is similar, I think?
That Karoo Hammerhead looks great. Sent them a message about it because a bit worried about battery life; 7 - 15 hours is a bit of gamble there.
 

baribari

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May 28, 2010
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That Karoo Hammerhead looks great. Sent them a message about it because a bit worried about battery life; 7 - 15 hours is a bit of gamble there.
I assume most of that is whether you are using mapping and/or backlighting.
There are ways to expand battery life, though...
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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Touchscreen would be nice, but it really isn't a deal breaker as long as the device has a simple navigation interface. The Wahoo I have right now is a tad annoying in that respect as I haven't worked out how to go "back" a page, as it seems I have to scroll through everything before coming back around.
I think there is none, you just have to cycle through pages. But if you create fewer pages (which you can, because you can zoom in and out), that can be mitigated to some degree. I'm not sure if a touch screen would be super helpful, though, since I don't think it'd be reliable under all circumstances (rain, sweat, etc.). But I can see the upside, too.
Sent them a message about it because a bit worried about battery life; 7 - 15 hours is a bit of gamble there.
I can at least get 10 hours out of my Wahoo with the backlight enabled 100 % of the time. (I train about 9 hours per week and keep the backlight on, and have still about 15 % charge left at the end of each week.) For longer trips, I'd take my small Anker battery pack with me that can recharge the Wahoo (or my iPhone) rather quickly. (Even if my cycling computer could manage that amount of time, for long trips I'd still take my battery pack with me to be sure I can charge lights and my cell phone.)

Nevertheless, if you regularly spend entire days in the saddle, you need to look at the bigger models, Garmin's 1030 or Wahoo's Elemnt Roam. They sport better battery life. A team mate of mine got a 1030 specifically so that he could race Tour de Okinawa and be sure that he wouldn't run out of juice.
 
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joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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I'm very happy with my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. It doesn't do on-the-fly routing, but I can always use my phone for that.

Battery life appears to be about 15 hours, which is pretty decent. Recharging with a USB cable from a power bank on the ride is easy too. I use the forward mount and an L-shaped USB connector.

I don't want a touchscreen for bike navigation. My phone's touch screen sucks in the rain. Buttons work in any weather, with or without gloves.

I re-sold my last Garmin after losing two recordings of long rides (one was over 300 km). In my opinion Garmin spends too much time adding features when it should still be trying to get the basics right. The Wahoo is super reliable, a joy to use.
 

Nuff

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Jul 28, 2020
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I use an Edge 830.
I had a ride get cut short and I was able to select "to home - shortest route" and it mapped the ride for me in a matter of seconds.
This was a Yabitsu ride, so I was maybe 60km or so from home when I needed to alter plans and skip the beach.
I use the Garmin Ecosystem with a Fenix3 & Fenix5 watch and also have some other garmin bits, so I surely have a bias for their stuff.

Battery life on the edge has been fine for me - up to 8 hour rides and charging at the camp sites off a power pack - but they have other options offering up to 24 hours power.


I don't use cateye, so no idea about compatibility.
I'm in the same boat and I've Edge 830, I'm in garmin ecosystem.

Overall I like it and due to my job, I sometimes have to drop everything I'm doing and head back to base/home ASAP 24/7. I've used the route to home quite a lot and it's great. I can save number of other locations there.

The touch screen is a hit or miss. Working with my winter gloves is fiddly, they supposed to work with touchscreen, but I find that often I've to lick my glove for the touchscreen to do anything.

Few downside of edge 830 is that it only comes as a bundle in Japan and if you want Japanese maps, that's the one you want to get. Setting up the screens can be fiddly, but once I was done, I don't have to touch them ever again.

One big difference between 830 and 530 is the level of detail in the maps. 830 are a lot more detailed.

I'm planning to get another 830 from usa and see if I can copy japanese maps to it.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
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I use a US unit with a Openmaps image of Japan.
It has worked wonderfully.
 

Nuff

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Jul 28, 2020
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I use a US unit with a Openmaps image of Japan.
It has worked wonderfully.
Cheers! Good to know it's a decent alternative. I'm planning to give my Japanese one to my wife so she can keep eye on me when I leave her behind in the dust. Also so we can do some basic messaging without needing to pull phones out.
 

Chuck

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Feb 7, 2011
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I'm very happy with my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. It doesn't do on-the-fly routing, but I can always use my phone for that.

Battery life appears to be about 15 hours, which is pretty decent. Recharging with a USB cable from a power bank on the ride is easy too. I use the forward mount and an L-shaped USB connector.

I don't want a touchscreen for bike navigation. My phone's touch screen sucks in the rain. Buttons work in any weather, with or without gloves.

I re-sold my last Garmin after losing two recordings of long rides (one was over 300 km). In my opinion Garmin spends too much time adding features when it should still be trying to get the basics right. The Wahoo is super reliable, a joy to use.
I've had trouble with both Garmin and Wahoo. Garmin problems seem to be software related, Wahoo was build quality. (My first unit fried the screen after a few months and the rubber waterproofing gaskets covering the side buttons came off. The replacement unit also lost the gaskets on the side and eventually lost the ability to connect to bluetooth.) I'll be interested to know if you experience any problems with the Wahoo as it gets a bit older.
 

Cactaur

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Feb 3, 2014
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Similar experience with the Wahoo build quality. Mine's being held together with electrical tape atm. If it wasn't for the PITA loading of garmin maps I'd switch.
 
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