When it comes to cycling computers, there’s Garmin, Wahoo, and then everyone else. Wahoo has done a great job of competing with Garmin with its Elemnt line, and the Bolt is a fan favorite. Today, Wahoo is announcing the new version of the Bolt with a color display, navigation features, and more.
If you’re familiar with Wahoo’s line of cycling computers, then I can make this pretty simple: if the original Bolt was a smaller version of the larger Elemnt, the new Bolt is a smaller version of the Roam. Easy peasy.
At just $279, the new Bolt sits in a great place—that’s a full $100 less than the Roam. As DC Rainmaker points out, if you’re interested in the Roam but want something smaller, the new Bolt is it. Here’s what you get:
- Color display
- Navigation features, including re-routing, back to start, and turn-by-turn
- 16GB of internal storage
- Pre-loaded maps of Europe/North America/Australia (others available for download)
- USB-C charging port and fast charging
- Improved buttons
- More messaging notification options
- Ambient light sensor
- …several other quality of life features
There’s nothing featured on the Roam that didn’t make its way into the new Bolt (that I’ve seen), but there are features on the new Bolt that even the Roam doesn’t have. That puts the Roam in an interesting place, because it’s $100 more but the only thing it really has to offer is a larger screen. Seems like a hard sell to me.
Like all Wahoo computers, you won’t find a touchscreen on the new Bolt. It uses buttons instead, which is honestly superior to touchscreen navigation on a cycling computer (at least in my opinion). The buttons on the new Bolt are raised instead of depressed, which should make them easier to use. They’re still below the display.
Speaking of the display, the new Bolt uses a 64-color panel, which in itself is a significant upgrade over the monochrome display of the previous Bolt. This makes navigation better and the workout screen easier to use at a glance. For example, your heart rate data can change color according to zone.
The new Bolt also has better support for outdoor structured workouts, with full integration for TrainerRoad, TrainingPeaks, and Today’s Plan. The structured workout interface appears to be excellent too, again with colors to help highlight the important points in your workout.
Like its predecessor, this Bolt is also the most aerodynamic computer on the market when used in conjunction with Wahoo’s included out-front mount. Because aero is everything, right?
As a current Garmin Edge 530 user, I’m intrigued by the new Bolt. I considered both the Roam and the original Bolt before deciding to stick with Garmin and picking up the 530, but had this Bolt been out last year I may have gone a different direction. At $20 less than the 530, it’s priced to compete and is a very compelling option for anyone looking to pick up a new bike computer. The new additions like navigation and color display easily put it toe-to-toe with Garmin.
The upgraded Bolt is available today directly from Wahoo, though I’d suggest giving DC Rainmaker’s early impressions a read before you jump straight to the order page. He had several issues during testing, but it’s also worth mentioning that he’s using a pre-production unit. Hopefully Wahoo works out the kinks soon.