I'm sure everyone reading this thread that is considering purchasing an ELEMNT has read DC Rainmakers full detailed review (posted on 3/31/2016).
If not, please give it a thorough read. There is a ton of detail and comparisons to other competing/similar units.
Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer In-Depth Review | DC Rainmaker
Also, be aware that Wahoo has released at least one firmware update that his article does not reflect completely (Di2 and ETAP data can now be displayed).
There are also updates pending (per conversations I've had with support) to address some of the shortfalls and bugs he mentioned.
For my part, I've used the unit on 7 different outdoor rides and one indoor ride (using it to control the KICKR). There isn't really much I can say here that he doesn't cover.
As far as the turn-by-turn GPS and map labels being missing, I don't really find this to be a big issue. I have a Garmin Edge 1000 that does those things really well, and I almost never use them. 99.9% of my rides are in areas I'm familiar with. That said, I have used the 'Follow Route' function, and much like Ray, I found it works perfectly well for following an existing (imported) route. The one caveat (Ray also mentioned this) is that you do need to zoom in/out to see enough map detail to know about an upcoming turn that you aren't sure of. The zooming function isn't exactly snappy, and it's hard to read the current zoom level on the screen. After playing around with it a few times, I got fairly adept at it, and while it could definitely use some improvement, I find it works just fine for what it does.
Now that I've learned how to zoom in on the data pages, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them. I think I'd rather just have the ability to make each screen custom, including the field sizes, and then use the 'Page' button to switch to the page that I need. The zoom function is very cool. I can put data fields I don't want to see constantly closer to the bottom, and those I watch closely (HR, Time of Day, and Cadence for me) at the top, and other stuff, like current speed and power at the bottom, then set the zoom level as needed.
For some odd reason, the third line ("Front Num" in Rays example below) of the data panels is always full screen width. Basically taking up the same space as two data fields. This is fine if I want to put a really wide data point there (HH:MM:SS, or similar), but I don't. It's usually just a one or two digit number, and it's a huge waste of space. Other screens (climbing data, ride summary, etc.. use the full screen.
It should probably just be a minor gripe, but for some reason it annoys the crap out of me.
Photo Credit: Ray Maker
Also, just FYI for K-Edge users. I ordered the replacement inserts for the ELEMNT (to swap in place of the Garmin inserts on some K-Edge out-front style mounts) last week and received them today ($5.99 ea).
Lots of good riding weather in my area means lots of playing around with the ELEMNT.
Anyone else having trouble with dropouts on combination BTLE/ANT+ devices? It could be coincidence, but I've been having trouble with Wahoo TICKR HRM (I own two of them - both keep dropping out, even with fresh batteries), and my Stages PM (Gen 1) with a fresh battery won't stay connected either.
With the Stages, I'm 99% sure it's not the PM, because it it works fine with the android phone app.
Firmware is up to date on everything...
I've asked Wahoo about that and haven't received a response yet. So far, I haven't encountered the problem, but I feel I should be able to select the protocol I want to use on my combo devices to avoid the problem you are describing. More and more, I think the BT sensor in the ELEMNT is a big problem.
I originally bought the ELEMNT because it COULD utilize both protocols. Now, I have new speed and cadence sensors, as well as a new HRM (all Wahoo) so I could use ANT+ instead and avoid the dropouts I was having with my BT devices. Oh well...
I was ready to pull the trigger but found chatter about this very same thing happening, dropouts, etc... one other review was a bit more outraged claiming it wasn't ready to prime time, etc... Now I'm a bit skittish of buying into the equivalent of a first iteration Garmin product.
Originally Posted by Migen21
One function I am anticipating the most is the side LED display for speed and cadence/power. Have you found it useful? or is it one of these things better on paper than execution?
Also, I'm a bit confused, can i use my Garmin cadence/speed sensors with Wahoo? I have the new rubber style magnet less model.
"That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG
I wouldn't be too concerned about the state of the ELEMNT. It's more than decent in it's current form, and Wahoo is adding features fairly quickly. Unless you need a fully rando compliant turn-by-turn queue sheet style GPS system, I would not hesitate to buy the ELEMNT again if I were in the market. On the otherhand, if you already have a functioning Garmin you aren't unhappy with' then I'd say there is no big hurry either.
Also, their customer support is LIGHTYEARS ahead of Garmins in terms of being responsive to issues and questions.
The side LED's were not even on my radar when I bought the unit, but they quickly became my favorite feature. I use mine for HR zones, which for my riding, is perfect. I can remove the BPM field from the top of the display, and use that space for other stuff I might want to check on periodically (Cadence, Time, etc..)
The ELEMNT is both ANT+ (dual band) and Bluetooth 4.0 compatible, so your Garmin speed and cadence sensors should work fine.
A couple more minor nit-picks I'm trying to figure out.
I upgraded my phone to a new device (LG-G5), and when I paired the head unit to my new phone, it took forever for the rides to sync from the cloud down to the phone. I'm not entirely sure exactly how that process works. The rides immediately showed up on the list, but were all in 'Waiting for Sync' status. I had to toggle bluetooth off and on on the phone several times to keep the rides sync'ing, otherwise the process would hang. I opened a ticket with Wahoo on it, but by the time I got all the info updated, my workaround seems to have cleared up the problem. It seems that sometimes the ride data sync process is hanging. So far, toggling bluetooth off and on on the phone seems to shake it loose.
Also, another note on ride syncing. Sometimes, when the ride data is taking a while to sync, if I'm not sitting there staring at the unit, the auto-shutoff will turn the unit off with the ride halfway sync'd. It seems to me that the auto-shutoff timer should pause when ride data is syncing.
Edit to add:
I tried the KICKR control function this morning. I chose a 'route' from strava that is a nice 7 mile loop around a nearby neighborhood. It's idea for doing some elevation without getting crazy (something the KICKR isn't great at). I loaded up the route and pressed start, and sure enough the KICKR adjusted the resistance as I rode up and down the various hills in the neighborhood, and I could see where I was on the route by watching the arrow move around on the map screen.
As far as difficulty, I would say the resistance of the KICKR is not quite as much as riding up the actual grade, but it was good enough to get a decent effort in.
My only complaint is that this particular route is something I'd be inclined to repeat four or five times if I were actually riding it, but I couldn't find a way for the ELEMNT to let me repeat it, without ending the ride and going back into route the menu, re-selecting it, and starting a new ride each time. Kind of a pain. I'll be opening a ticket with Wahoo to ask about this.
Last edited by Migen21; 04-15-2016 at 08:12 PM.
I have yet to out-ride the battery on my iPhone 6S, using Cyclemeter Prem app. Really like it, in a Topeak weatherproof case, mounts on my 3 bikes. Even has shock absorption to use on my mtb. I set the display to always-on and seems it will go well over 3 hours on oem battery. Using bluetooth Wahoo HRM, and bluetooth Stages power, and gps of course. Used in the rain and a serious amount of mud all winter
Originally Posted by mshow1323
I have a little usb battery backup and shorty lighting cable for rides over 4 hours, will probably push it to 6 hours I think.
Battery life is the only reason considered the Elemnt for me. BUt good to hear reports on there that it might not outlast my iPhone in this role. and save me having to buying another expensive item.
I had a long day on the bike today. About six hours of riding time all tolled, with no recharge. I ended the day at about 61% battery remaining. I'd say that's pretty good.
I had the live update running the entire time, but it wasn't being watched, and I don't think the phone and ELEMNT were connected the entire time. I did notice the 'Paired to Phone' message pop up on the screen at some random point on the ride, so I can only assume it disconnected at least once, for who knows how long. I had my phone in a backback and inside a phone wallet. I know this caused probelms for Garmin's bluetooth connection. I can only assume it was my fat belly causing that disconnect.
I put fresh batteries in all of my sensors today, and after six hours of riding, I had zero dropouts from HR (Wahoo TICKR) and Speed (Garmin Speed (new)). Unfortunately my power meter dropped out about 1/3 of the way into the rideand never came back. I'm about 95% sure this is a problem with the PM (it's going back to Stages for reconditioning next week).
I'm still having odd sync issues between Wahoo's cloud, the ELEMNT and my (new LG G5) phone. I'm really not sure what to make of it, but it's really annoying. I finally gave up trying to get todays ride to sync and manually downloaded it via USB and imported it to Strava. I'm still waiting to hear from Wahoo on this issue.
Another udpate after yesterdays 55 mile ride.
Battery life is still great. My ride was broken up over about six hours (some picnic stuff in between), and battery was still at about 60% when I finished the ride.
Sensors are working flawlessly (i.e no drops). I'm going to say that my sensor issues must have been due to bad batteries.
I did find another small issue. I'm not sure when this started, but I tried adding the "Di2 Battery" data field (they call it 'Shifing Battery') to my display, to see the battery level, and all I get is "N/A". It is reporting gear change status on the screen (which I could care less about), so I know the D-Fly is working. I opened a new ticket with Wahoo on this.
Lastly, ride sync'ing (to their cloud, and up to Strava) is still painful. The last two times I've used it it's taken over three hours to sync the ride. Yesterday, the unit auto-shut off on me twice before it finally sync'd when I powered it up after the last power on. I think this is a bluetooth issue, but I'm not sure if it's the unit itself or the phone (which is new - Android 6.01 Marshmallow). I think after today's ride, I'm going to leave bluetooth off and bring it home, and see if it will sync quicker over WiFi.
At least with this sync issue, there is a workaround getting uploads to Strava. I can always go old-school and plug it into the computer and download the .fit file and Import it manually.
Thread hijack but Wahoo related. For those who may be using Wahoo's cadence sensor, what has been your experience? I have one and am a little disappointed. It seems to be pretty slow to respond to changes in rpm.
Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
Interesting about the battery change. My sensors are brand new, so I would hate to think that's the problem.
Originally Posted by Migen21
The issue I am having appears to be that the ELEMNT is assigning the speed sensor to both BTLE and ANT+ protocols despite my only selecting the latter. An upgrade to the Wahoo Speed firmware did not solve the problem either.
If the sensors shipped with the battery installed, then it's very likely they were depleted during shipping. I rode with a brand new Wahoo Speed sensor on my last ride (swapped out the Garmin Speed), and it worked flawlessly as well. I did replace the battery that it shipped with though.
@Floralagator, I use Wahoo RPM sensors on my trainer bike, and the bikes that don't have a PM based RPM. I have never noticed an issue with slowness, but I also don't pay super close attention to it. I just look at the averages at the end of the ride, and in some cases I might look at my cadence over a particular segment, but I'm not hyper aware of it during a ride.
Yesterdays ride was similar to the previous. Sensors worked well.
Unfortunately, the app went wacky towards the end of the ride and totally killed my phone battery. About 10 miles from the end the phone battery was at 60%. By the time I got home, it as at about 10%. I plugged it into the charger, and went about my business, hoping it would sync the ride and the battery would charge. I checked on it a while later, and the phone was dead (off).
I powered it back on and checked the battery usage stats, and the ELEMNT app had consumed 85% of the battery since the last change (and most of it over a period of about 45 minutes). The phone was physically warm to the touch (not hot mind you - i don't think it was in any danger of melting or catching on fire).
Interesting note here. When I rebooted the phone, the ELEMNT app automatically re-started, and continued to consume a LOT of battery until I issued a Force Stop. Once I did that, everything seemed to return to normal.
It seems there are some fairly significant issues with the Android version of the app. Between the Bluetooth <--> ELEMENT connection occasionally failing, the horrendous ride sync problems, and now this CPU usage issue, I'm a little concerned.
I was also told by customer service that the Di2 battery status not being displayed is a known issue and should be addressed in a future patch. I was told that there is a workaround to go into the main menu on the ELEMNT and select the Di2 sensor, and tap the "More" button. Theoretically the battery state should show up here. I don't have the unit here with me to test this, but I've looked in that menu and don't recall seeing battery status there. I'll check on this later when I have a chance.
I'm curious if anyone is using the iPhone app for the ELEMNT and what their experiences are. Particularly with the ride sync issues. Wahoo seems to be implying this is an inherent problem with bluetooth, and backwards compatibility, but I didn't have these issues on my older LG G3, and I'm curious if iPhone users are having issues.
I'm off the bike for a couple of days (240 miles over the last four days - legs need some rest).
Migen, I haven't seen an appreciable problem with battery usage on my iPhone. From what I can tell, it's in line with other similar background apps. Over the past 24 hours I went for one ride consisting of 9 miles, where the Wahoo app consumed 3%. The last 5 days, which included a 52 mile ride, it has consumed 7%.
I've not experienced any issues syncing my rides to Strava or RWGPS.
Interesting.. What phone?
The road bar mount works great, weighs nothing, not a bad option.
Zip tie mount, others, including DC Rainmaker are not a fan of the zip ties, I like them, they make it a viable mount for hard mountain biking.
TT mount. slick carbon aero extensions and slick internal mating surface make this hard to tighten down. I ended up adhering a tiny piece of skateboard grip tape on the extension, so the mount had something to grip to. Otherwise, it is fine.
K-edge, talked to them at Sea Otter, they only had one blue disc and I bought it to retrofit my XL out front mount. They did say they were not comfortable and have not tested the the older XL mount with the Elemnt and something attached to the GoPro adapter. They recommend buying the new one if you are attaching things.
Barfly, I did not talk to them but they also have Elemnt mounts now. I don't know anything more than that though.
I wish the Elemnt had a tether, I would hate to see it fly off.
Went to Henry Coe, turned it on with no connection to the internet and it had all of the trail maps as long as I stayed at the same zoom level. My buddy and I got off on a rarely used (Stava only had 10 people ever riding it) trail that got so overgrown, without the map, we would probably have gotten completely lost. At one point there was so much overgrowth, even with the map it took us a good fifteen minutes to find it again (my scrapes from manzanita branches, sunburn and poison oak are still healing two weeks later).
Still have not tried following a pre-defined route.
After the ride, if it is syncing but just kind of sitting there at 1/3rd complete or the app can't find the Elemnt, I reboot my phone and then the Elemnt seems to skip the sync to the phone and just use Wifi directly rather quickly.
Still light years better than the 510.Sunlight to shade and back again with polarized and non-polarized sunglasses on, no problem.
Stages PM for Power and Cadence (MTB bike, I've only tired it once with the Elemnt):
Cadence spikes, up to 245rpm (my best is 140...), drop outs and freezing (says I'm doing 80rpm but I am coasting).
Power also did some odd things, shows a super smooth roll off from 1 second to three minutes on what looks like 10% down hill starting at 1100 watts ending at 600 watts. I've been training, and I had a really strong day but my previous all time 3 min high was 375 watts, so I find these results a little hard to believe.
Note: I've stayed up on the Stages firmware and any time I go to Henry Coe, it does something dumb, like it is the Bermuda triangle of technology for mountain biking for me.
HR has no use to me, it is not even on my main screen so I certainly don't need any lights telling me I am working hard, it's not like I am going to slow down or stop based on that. That leaves Power, which is based on ride average. This has to be the most useless status I can imagine. For example (and I am simplifying for clarity), say your ride is hilly, half the time you spend putting out 300 watts climbing, the other half you spend coasting down hill, your average is 150 watts. What use is that as the center of a graph. They already collected my FTP in the app, how hard would it be just to implement the FTP as the center and each light above and below 10% of that. No extra interface needed. Easy enough to extend that by letting people set what the % is for each segment as a customization. That would let people do some great things with those LEDs when working on bike splits etc. I am hopeful this will be addressed, for now these are just blinking lights.
I still like this far better than the Garmin 510 and have high hopes things will get better as Wahoo works through the issues.
iPhone 5s with the latest iOS.
Originally Posted by Migen21
I checked on the Di2 Battery Status, and that data does indeed show on the device in the D-Fly sensor menu. The field is actually not there (not just showing zero or no value its *not there*) if D-Fly is not connected.
ELEMNT Main Menu -> D-Fly Sensor -> More
Needless to say, my Di2 is on the charger as we speak.
And for you Di2 naysayers out there, I got about 2500 miles out of this charge (and still at 20%)
I haven't updated this thread in a while.
I've been using the ELEMNT fairly extensively, and have been having more issues with ride data sync and some sensor drops, particularly my Wahoo TICKR, but other bluetooth devices as well (Stages PM, Wahoo Speed and RPM). My ANT sensors don't seem to be affected, but I don't use them as much (mostly just to test), so it's hard to say if they actually work better.
I've also been experiencing some lag/slowness in the UI that seems to get worse the longer the ride goes (again, small sample size).
I've been having a pretty open dialog with Wahoo support about these issues, and they assured me fixes were coming for all of the issues I've been experiencing.
Well, today might be the day.
I haven't updated yet, but according to their support site, there are new versions of both IOS and Android companion apps, as well as new firmware for the head unit itself.
ELEMNT Software Updates â€“ Wahoo Fitness Support
Originally Posted by Wahoo Support Software Udpates Page
I'll update the unit and my apps (I'm playing with both android and IOS versions) and report back after I have a few rides.
I did the update yesterday and here is my experience with that:
Update App on Android Nexus 6P
Open App, it crashes (try several more times, same result)
Restart Phone, Open App, it crashes (try several more times, same result)
Uninstall App/Reboot Phone/Reinstall App
Have to run setup on phone again, as soon as I enter my user name it starts downloading all of my rides from the device to my phone.
Plug phone into wall, let this go on for 5 hours, keeping both awake so I can watch the progress, it takes about an hour per ride.
Plug device into computer and remove all existing rides from device.
Restart Element and kill App and restart, continues to sync.
Do factory reset on Elemnt.
Finally lets me enter the WiFi password and complete App setup.
Re-setup custom screens.
Turn off Auto Pause.
Re-add all sensors.
Did a local group ride where cell coverage is only somewhat spotty, 27 miles/2250ft/1:45 time (so not exactly an endurance test as far as phone or device batteries go), everything seemed to work properly and it uploaded the ride immediately on completion using cell network (no wifi available).
I installed the update last night on both phones (iPhone 5S and LG-G5). Both went smoothly. The unit was paired to the iPhone when I did the update, and other than a few minor issues getting connected to WiFi, the update installation went smoothly.
After updating, I decided to switch back to the G5 and permanently retire the iPhone (again). The re-pairing went well, and all of the sensors were still working fine.
I had my first ride this morning, and the ride went very well. I had one HR dropout from my TICKR. It dropped for about 2 min, but reconnected before it annoyed me enough to stop and fix it. I really hope they work out these bluetooth dropouts. This is really starting to be frustrating. And for me, HR is really the only stat I care about in real time ( I monitor my zones actively for various reasons).
After the ride, it auto-updated Strava for me, and that also worked well.
I didn't really spend much time playing the new mapping stuff, as I don't use routes on my morning commute. I may try riding a planned route this weekend if I can find time to get a ride in around some other obligations.
One thing I did notice, and it's obviously a single ride, so the sample size is small, but looking at the ride map in Strava, it seems to be much more accurate. The red line follows my exact route fairly closely. I can even see some swerves that involved avoiding some obstacles in the bike lane in a couple of places. There is much less 'drift' and there are no 'variations' (a gps plot that is obviously pretty far off of my actual track).
Two more rides in the books. Both went flawlessly. The only minor issue was, in both cases, the TICKR was a little slow to connect. Once it connected everything stayed connected and worked fine.
Definitely more consistent after the last patch.
Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
I had all kinds of chaos today. Thinking maybe changing recommendation from a buy to a wait and see.
My Strava results seem pretty close except that my ride is missing many of the segments that show up in my friends ride. So maybe the GPS was having trouble tracking in the mountains. Speed, cadence distance and power seem all within range and similar to my friends.
Here is a comparison between Strava and the Elemnt:
Strava 39.3 miles (matches friends), Elemnt 53.7 miles
Strava Max Speed 50.6mph (likely), Elemnt 213 mph, App, 66.9mph
Strava Avg Speed 16.4mph, Elemnt 19mph
Strava Climbing 4137, Elemnt 4136 (I'll call this one ok)
Numerous times on the ride it displayed NA for Power and Cadence although I can't find these dropouts in the Strava data.
That does sound strange. My GPS tracks have been much tighter since the last patch/update.
I have to admit, I have been reading this thread for awhile but never joined to post.....until now. It's interesting to read all the issues that may deter some from making the plunge to the Elemnt. I have had a completely different experience. First, my set up -
I previously used Cyclometer and used both together for a few weeks. Both export my data to Strava. I have an Iphone 6S. I have a Trek Domane with duotrap, a Felt FX2 with Powertap pedals and DI2 and a Trek FX hybrid with duotrap. I mostly use a Mio wristband for heart rate but also use a Wahoo Tickr chest strap and a Garmin Tri chest strap. All of these sensors are saved in my elemnt and no matter what bike or HR I use, I start and go and Elemnt has flawlessly been connected to whatever I am using for the entire ride, every ride. The only issue I ever had was with originally getting it to recognize the DI2 and one time the DI2 did not connect. The readings are dead on when I was using Cyclometer but while doing this I had the sensors to Cyclometer and using just GPS for speed and distance. Readings also coincide with my Garmin 930 watch.
As far as rides syncing over Wifi, I just need to make sure I leave the elemnt on long enough to sync once I get in my garage (usually 3-5 minutes). After reading about the update a couple of days ago, I turned on the Elemnt last night to update it to the latest version just released and it was already updated with me doing nothing.
As of this morning have 1193 miles on my Elemnt I have successfully downloaded several routes but have not yet used the mapping page or any routes.
Maybe I am just lucky with my experiences?
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