This is a follow-up post on the original, which has been among the most popular on the site.
Now that I’ve been using the Wahoo ELEMNT for about a year, I wanted to update the original post with some additional thoughts that I have compiled. In short, I am beyond satisfied with the device. I won’t get into more comparisons between the Edge 810 and the ELEMNT, mostly because I haven’t really given the 810 too much thought over the course of the past year. But I am definitely glad I don’t use it any more! Here are some (updated) reasons why I love my ELEMNT:
In the past year, there have been numerous updates to both the ELEMNT device and and Android and iPhone apps. These updates have been on almost a weekly basis. Some of these changes are minor tweaks, but sometimes I’ll power the device up and there will be a really cool new option that wasn’t there before. This is all done completely behind the scenes, automatically, with no input or change from me.
Creating Ride Routes
When I visit an area that I’m not familiar with, or go out for a long ride, I love to create a route for that ride ahead of time. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of the ride itself, and allows me to enjoy my surroundings a lot more. It also creates a really nice elevation profile on the ELEMNT so I can see the big climbs as I approach them. Another screen shows a very high-contrast map that can be zoomed as far in as 500 ft and back out so that I can see the entire route on the screen in front of me. The LEDs light up on the top and side of the ELEMNT before each turn, followed by an audible beep. If I miss a turn, the LEDs flash red.
The best part of loading a route is that it can all be done directly from the phone app. With my old Garmin Edge unit, it would take me a few tedious steps in order to get a route pulled up. It would involve plugging the Edge into the computer with a USB cord, transferring files over, and more. Now I can create a route and move it onto my ELEMNT in about 5 minutes… all 100% wireless. I don’t even have to touch the ELEMNT aside from powering it on and hitting “Start”.
The ELEMNT has the ability to receive call and text notifications. This option can also be toggled off. I really appreciate being able to glance down to see who is calling or texting me as soon as I feel the vibration in my jersey pocket. If you receive a call, the ELEMNT shows the name of the person calling. If you receive a text, the ELEMNT shows the name of the contact and the actual text message.
This doesn’t effect me very much, but my fiance loves it! As soon as I begin a ride, she receives an email with a direct link to a map where she can track my movements. She has told me that it cuts out every so often, but for the most part it is very accurate.
I typically ride with a power meter and heart rate monitor. They are both connected to the ELEMNT via ANT+ technology. The ELEMENT also connects to my Android phone via Bluetooth, and overhead satellites via GPS. From the time that I hit the “Start” button to the time that the device is connected to all four of those things is routinely within 5 to 30 seconds. I have yet to experience an issue with it not connecting to my phone, HRM, PM, or lock on satellites. A couple of my teammates did have issues with power dropouts for a time, but those issues have been alleviated with new firmware updates.
I have had a few issues with the ELEMNT over the past year. But I have been able to remedy those issues easily with the help of Wahoo Support. They have been quick to answer an email query, and I have also had good success by calling their phone line. Another excellent place I’ve found for help is the ELEMNT Google Group. This is a very active community of tech-savvy individuals, they have diagnosed every potential bug with the device and found many solutions that even Wahoo probably doesn’t know about. Any ELEMNT user should subscribe to the group.
In conclusion, there hasn’t been a moment in the past year when I’ve missed my Garmin Edge. I look forward to the new ELEMNT updates that Wahoo has in store!