Garmin have long been the market leaders in the world of GPS cycling computers, but it seems a few brands are starting to step up to challenge them.
First Lezyne arrived with their range – starting at the £109.99 Mini (Garmin launched their own Garmin 20 pretty smartish) and reaching £159.99 for the all singing, all dancing Lezyne Super. We’re testing the Mini at the moment, so more news on that soon.
Now Wahoo Fitness have chimed in with their ELEMNT, which squares up against the Garmin 810, at £279.99 (and takes quite a lot of careful concentration to spell).
Wahoo aim to create devices that work with the smartphones most of us already use. Existing products include KICKR indoor bike trainers, operated via a smart phone, and RFLKT bike computers which display the data received by a smartphone on screen.
The new EMEMNT unit is a GPS computer, with maps and data reading that works independently from a smartphone. The party trick is its strong phone compatibility, which Wahoo hope will make it more user friendly than the competition.
You can pair your iOS or Android phone to the ELEMNT by scanning a QR code, and from that point you can customise the pages, data displays and so on, from your phone.
Furthermore, using third parties like Strava, you can also live track other riders in real time. Say, for example, you’ve arranged to meet Lucy for a ride at 9am, and she’s still not there at 9.15am, you could use the ELEMNT to discover that she’s round the corner mending a puncture (or that she was lying when she said “just leaving the house!”).
The computer is ANT+ and bluetooth compatible, and you can programme alerts, such as those based on average speed, power and heart rate. LED indicators on the left hand side of the screen will tell you if you’re slipping out of the pre-set zones.
For those of us who struggle with navigation, you can download maps from third parties – such as Strava – and the wireless compatibility means rides will be automatically uploaded.
Wahoo have ensured that the computer is fully integrated with the rest of the range – notably you can control the KICKR indoor trainer directly from the ELEMNT, even adjusting resistance to mirror a downloaded ride.
The units will be available to pre-order this week, landing later this year. Check out our cycling computer buying guide for advice on what to look for.