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

Wahoo Elemnt and Garmin Edge bike computer systems are deservedly well-liked they usually dominate the market, regardless of the growing competitors provided by manufacturers akin to Hammerhead and Bryton.

In the case of which bike laptop it is best to select from one in every of these manufacturers, there are a number of issues to think about. Garmin has a bigger vary of merchandise catering to totally 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 items among the finest bike computer systems and the way to decide on the suitable one for you.

Wahoo Elemnt vs Garmin Edge ranges

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

Though it is slimmed down its vary of Edge computer systems just lately, Garmin nonetheless presents 5 totally different fashions. That begins out with the compact, comparatively cheap Edge 130 Plus. It is acquired a monochrome display and is managed by way of 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 similar 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 / Fast Media

In distinction, Wahoo presents 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 perimeters 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 may be programmed to show totally different info, together with your coronary heart charge zone or details about upcoming turns when you’re following a route.

Battery life

The Garmin 1040 has photo voltaic charging.
Garmin

Garmin’s battery life relies on 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 most recent 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 using 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 value?

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

The Wahoo Elemnt computer systems intently monitor 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 easy, aero look. You’ll be able to screw the pc to the mount for security and peace of thoughts when you depart your bike.

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

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

Garmin and Wahoo computer systems assist 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 gadgets akin to energy meters.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Though Garmin has upped its recreation 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 by way of the app reasonably than on the machine itself, though that’s nonetheless an possibility.

Garmin is catching up with a straightforward phone-based setup and the power to maneuver your information over from an older Garmin machine. There may be additionally phone-app management of some settings, but it surely’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 / Fast 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 embrace road names. Garmin’s maps are extra colourful, embrace 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 objects akin to climb profiles, dwell monitoring, radar assist and on-device exercises. In addition they allow you to configure the information you see as you trip. 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 offer you loads of exercise stats by way of their respective telephone 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 akin to Komoot.
komoot

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

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

Which one is healthier, Wahoo or Garmin?

With its wider vary, Garmin is the plain alternative when you’re after both a price range or a premium bike laptop.

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

For a button-controlled machine, the selection is extra nuanced. Wahoo’s gadgets look neater on the bars and embrace an out-front mount – one thing you’ll need to 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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