In its current state, the world of GPS cycling computers looks more like the dénouement of a winner-takes-all capitalist board game than the thriving metropolis of options we'd love to see available. Wahoo Fitness, known for its revolutionary line of KICKR power trainers and highly intelligent tracking accessories, is challenging the status quo with its all-new ELEMNT Bike Computer. One part navigator, one part data nerd, and all-out user friendly, this computer is sure to command attention.
Aesthetically, the ELEMNT is moderately sized in comparison to its range of competition. It's got a 2.7-inch screen and an overall look that's concurrently streamlined and ruggedly durable. While we never recommend tossing electronics about, this one appears to be more equipped to handle an accidental crash and burn than some of the more minimalist fare available.
Keeping with its bent for innovation, Wahoo created a free ELEMNT app designed specifically to set up and manage screens, pairings, and general settings wirelessly from your smartphone. The bad news is that you can't set up or really use the ELEMNT without a smartphone, but the exceptionally good news for those of us that do have a smartphone is that managing settings from the app makes getting started and using the ELEMNT about a million times easier than any other cycling computer on the market. No more digging into a rabbit warren of menus, sub-menus, and sub-sub-menus while squinting at a tiny screen, hoping you don't accidentally fat-finger the wrong item and have to start over. Instead, it's just easy peasy scrolling through user-friendly, highly-readable screens on your smartphone.
Another feature that sets the ELEMNT apart from the crowd is its ability to pair with Wahoo's KICKR line of power trainers and transition seamlessly from road to indoor torture time. This functionality allows riders to control workouts from the head unit without any fuss from trying to make sure a computer, tablet, or phone are nearby, connected, and properly set up. The ELEMNT also boasts the ability to display gear positioning when paired with SRAM eTap or Shimano's Di2 D-Fly ANT+ transmitter, so you always know exactly where you are on the cogs when ramping up for the next county line sprint. Its compatibility even extends to BSXInsight and Moxy Muscle Oxygen Sensors to display metrics so you can really get your nerd on while getting your hurt on.
The ELEMNT is compatible with both ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 devices, meaning it'll pair with almost any power meter and other sensors your bike might have to gather every second of training data. Wireless connectivity lets you upload ride files, download saved rides from third-party tracking apps, and edit settings via the ELEMNT app in a flash. It also alerts you to incoming calls, texts, and emails so you can decide whether to stop and check in, or just keep on keeping on until the mid-ride photo op.
On the bike, the ELEMNT is controlled by what Wahoo dubs "smart buttons", with three buttons on the lower face taking on the page view and general start/stop/pause duties while two buttons on the right side control the data zoom. In something of a unique approach, the ELEMNT lets riders set screen blocks by priority in the phone app, which then can be viewed in chunks ranging from the top two data blocks up to ten metrics depending on your mood and activity. The ELEMNT comes with three main screens preloaded — workout, climb, and map — which are all customizable. Users also have the option to add additional screens to best fit their riding needs.
The Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT Bike Computer is packaged with an out-front mount, a stem mount, an aerobar mount, and a Quick Start Guide. The free ELEMNT companion app is compatible with iPhone models 4S and newer as well as Android 3.2 smartphones with Bluetooth 4.0.
- A highly functional head unit with unique features
- User-friendly smartphone app makes setup a breeze
- Unique zoom option customizes screen on the fly
- Navigation capabilities for mapping and tracking
- Displays smartphone notifications
- Compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 devices
- Wireless connectivity for fast file uploads