Wahoo vs Garmin: which bike laptop do you have to select?

Wahoo Elemnt and Garmin Edge bike computer systems are deservedly standard they usually dominate the market, regardless of the growing competitors provided by manufacturers reminiscent of Hammerhead and Bryton.

With regards to which bike laptop you must select from considered one of these manufacturers, there are a number of issues to contemplate. Garmin has a bigger vary of merchandise catering to completely different riders’ wants and budgets, however Wahoo has a number of benefits together with added extras and a refined interface.

On this information, we take you thru the main points and options that make Garmin and Wahoo head models a few of the greatest bike computer systems and the way to decide on the proper one for you.

Wahoo Elemnt vs Garmin Edge ranges

The Garmin 130 Plus (left) and 1030 Plus (proper).
Jack Luke / Instant Media

Though it is slimmed down its vary of Edge computer systems not too long ago, Garmin nonetheless gives 5 completely different fashions. That begins out with the compact, comparatively cheap Edge 130 Plus. It is obtained a monochrome display and is managed through 5 buttons on its sides and backside edge.

Transfer up the vary and the Garmin Edge 530 is bigger and has a colour display, though it is nonetheless button managed. The Edge 830 is identical dimension because the Edge 530 however has a touchscreen, whereas the Edge Discover has a barely bigger touchscreen. The larger-format Edge 1030 Plus has now been eclipsed by the Garmin Edge 1040 on the top quality.

The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS bike laptop.
Jack Luke / Instant Media

In distinction, Wahoo gives solely two Elemnt computer systems: the Elemnt Bolt and the Elemnt Roam. They’re each mid-sized non-touchscreen colour computer systems managed by an array of six buttons, three on the face and three on the edges of the pc’s physique.

In addition to the display, Wahoo contains one array of LED lights on the Elemnt Bolt and two on the Elemnt Roam. These could be programmed to show completely different info, together with your coronary heart charge zone or details about upcoming turns if you happen to’re following a route.

Battery life

The Garmin 1040 has photo voltaic charging.

Garmin’s battery life is determined by the mannequin; the smallest Edge 130 Plus has a claimed 12-hour run time and that stretches as much as 24 hours for the Edge 1030 Plus.

The newest Edge 1040 has photo voltaic charging – just like the Garmin Fenix ​​7 Sapphire Photo voltaic smartwatch – to extend battery life nonetheless additional, with a claimed seven-day run time on a single cost when topped up by eight hours a day of driving in daylight.

The Wahoo computer systems sit someplace within the center, with the Elemnt Roam having a 17-hour quoted battery life and the Elemnt Bolt 15 hours.

How a lot do Garmin and Wahoo computer systems price?

The Garmin Edge 530 prices £ 260.
Matthew Allen / Instant Media

The Wahoo Elemnt computer systems carefully observe the £ 260 / $ 300 Garmin Edge 530 and are comparable in dimension. The Elemnt Bolt is smaller and prices £ 265 / $ 300, the Elemnt Roam is barely bigger and prices £ 300 / $ 380.

Garmin’s vary has a wider vary of costs, from the £ 170 / $ 200 Edge 130 Plus as much as the £ 630 / $ 750 Edge 1040 in its solar-charged model.

Mounting and extras

The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt comes with an out-front mount.
Wahoo Health

Wahoo scores on its mounts for the Elemnt vary. The computer systems include a ahead mount with half-turn engagement. Though they’re plastic, the mounts combine with the computer systems actually cleanly, making for a clean, aero look. You’ll be able to screw the pc to the mount for security and peace of thoughts if you happen to depart your bike.

In distinction, Garmin computer systems include a plastic half-turn bar-top mount secured by two rubber straps as customary. If you’d like an out-front mount (resulting from their massive dimension, it is just about a necessity for the Edge 1030 Plus and Edge 1040) it’s good to purchase it individually.

You should purchase the Garmin Edge and Wahoo Elemnt computer systems as a bundle. Relying on the mannequin, this often contains an HRM strap, pace and cadence sensors and, for Garmin MTB bundles, a silicone case, MTB mount and distant.

Garmin and Wahoo computer systems help ANT + and BLE connectivity, whereas higher-spec fashions from each manufacturers have built-in WiFi, so you may add rides to apps with out having to hyperlink them to your smartphone.

Configuring Wahoo and Garmin computer systems

You’ll be able to hyperlink Garmin and Wahoo bike computer systems to units reminiscent of energy meters.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Though Garmin has upped its sport on setup and configuration, Wahoo nonetheless wins out with tight integration with its smartphone app. This lets you arrange and customise just about every little thing through the app quite than on the system itself, though that’s nonetheless an choice.

Garmin is catching up with a simple phone-based setup and the power to maneuver your information over from an older Garmin system. There may be additionally phone-app management of some settings, however it’s not as simple as with Wahoo’s app and you continue to want to make use of fiddly on-device menus to customise many options.

Wahoo and Garmin options

The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt comes with a base map.
Jack Luke / Instant Media

All however the entry-level Garmin 130 Plus, which simply has a breadcrumb path to observe, get mapping with a base map, and the Elemnt computer systems include maps too.

Wahoo’s base map is pretty primary and does not embody road names. Garmin’s maps are extra colourful, embody road names and mark wooded areas and different options. Garmin additionally offers you heatmaps to map out cycle-friendly routes to observe.

Garmin and Wahoo match one another feature-for-feature, with gadgets reminiscent of climb profiles, reside monitoring, radar help and on-device exercises. Additionally they allow you to configure the information you see as you experience. You may get extra information fields per display on the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus and 1040, however fewer on the Edge 130 Plus.

Garmin and Wahoo computer systems provide you with loads of exercise stats through their respective cellphone apps. Garmin Join is especially full-featured, providing you with a great deal of stats on coaching impact and different metrics, whereas the Wahoo app covers the fundamentals.

You’ll be able to hyperlink Garmin and Wahoo bike computer systems to third-party apps reminiscent of Komoot.

In each instances, you may arrange an computerized sync by way of to Strava, TrainingPeaks or different health apps if you’d like extra evaluation. You can too hyperlink the computer systems to Komoot for routes and to create a log of your actions.

With its sensible coach vary, Wahoo has good performance for coach management, though that’s matched by Garmin.

Which one is best, Wahoo or Garmin?

With its wider vary, Garmin is the apparent alternative if you happen to’re after both a price range or a premium bike laptop.

Most of Garmin’s computer systems are the higher wager if you happen to want prolonged battery life, notably the newest Edge 1040. Within the center, it is also the one alternative if you’d like a touchscreen, though keep in mind that this may be troublesome to make use of within the moist , off-road or in case you are carrying thick gloves.

For a button-controlled system, the selection is extra nuanced. Wahoo’s units look neater on the bars and embody an out-front mount – one thing you’ll must pay further for with Garmin. The added options such because the LED arrays and the simpler smartphone interface, together with a much less reflective display that is simpler to learn within the solar, would in all probability tip the stability in favor of Wahoo too.

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