Review: Wahoo RFLKT+

wahoo rflkt
Last week I reviewed the Wahoo Blue SC Speed/Cadence Sensor (Link); now it's time to complete the package with the rather clever RFLKT+ handlebar display unit.

It's all well and good having your iPhone as your GPS computer, and you can get a huge amount of data when you upload your rides online; but mounting an iPhone on your handlebars is both a bit unsightly and precarious. This is where the Wahoo RFLKT+ comes in; it "reflects" the display on the Wahoo iPhone app onto your handlebars, in a simple and neat display unit.

The RFLKT+ is even more than just a reflection though, it also allows you to customise your display, link in ANT+ sensors with your Wahoo iPhone App through the ANT bridge, and even control your music and workout data through the sleek compact unit. In addition, you also get barometric altimeter readings that are far more accurate than the GPS generated ones used on most iPhone apps, and this is clearly a more weatherproof solution that having an iPhone in a case on your handlebars.

That all sounds great, so how does it work in practice?

The RFLKT+ is smaller than the Garmin Edge 500, and around the same size as the Cateye computers. It mounts to your handlebars with a common rubber band mount, or a supplied out-front mount; or if you want to use a mount such as a Bar Fly mount, you can easily convert it into a quarter turn mount with the supplied adapter. Mounted up, it looks small, neat and sleek.

Getting started is pretty simple; you switch on the Wahoo App and Bluetooth on your iPhone, switch on the RFLKT+ and then when the RFLKT+ detects the iPhone it will ask to sync with it. The RFLKT+ then loads up the pages, and you get a customisable display which reflects the data that is displaying on your iPhone (which can now be stashed safely in your jersey pocket). Simple!

One of the biggest benefits of the RFLKT+ (which gives it the "plussed" status over the old RFLKT) is that it features an ANT bridging system. That means that existing ANT+ sensors, such as heart rate sensors, speed/cadence sensors and (perhaps most importantly) power meters can be displayed on the Wahoo iPhone app and the RFLKT+ head unit. This is something that previously required an ANT+ dongle to make possible. This bridge works really well; it's easy enough to set up finding the sensor on the Wahoo App, and then your heart rate strap, speed/cadence and power sensors will display on the RFLKT+ and then be relayed onto the iPhone. A great way to make use of existing sensors, and allowing you to use power meters on your Wahoo App.

The next big thing with the RFLKT+, over the standard RFLKT, is that you can measure elevation gain through the inbuilt barometric altimeter. GPS generate altimeter statistics are rather variable in quality, and barometric data is generally far more accurate (as used in all the recent Garmin Edge units). The altimeter data was very similar to my Garmin Edge 510 when I rode with both active; giving you a highly beneficial data stream to download/upload after you've finished (the Wahoo App uploads to all major sites such as Strava and Training Peaks).

The general operation of the RFLKT+ is very easy; the display can be customised right down the function of the buttons (very cool), all through using the Wahoo Fitness App. You can even create separate bike profiles (much like on the Garmin Edge 510).

The button customisation can be taken to another level if (for example) you want to control the music on your phone (and any other third party apps that start to come onboard with compatible software). This is a great feature if you like to ride with music, and allows you to start/stop, pause and skip through music, depending on how you customise the buttons.

The final major advantage of the RFLKT+ is that it saves the battery life on your iPhone. Because you can lock the screen on the iPhone, it will use far less battery than if you had it on a handlebar mount with the backlight on. That's a big bonus, and those that have tried both having their iPhone stashed in their pocket compared to on a mount with the backlight on, will know that it makes several hours difference to the length of the battery life whilst using thirsty GPS apps.

Overall, this is a very cool idea. Proven best perhaps by the fact that Wahoo put this up on Kickstarter before releasing it to the public, and it got a huge amount of interest. The ANT+ bridge is a great feature to enable you to do away with an ANT+ dongle. The unit is far more compact and neat than a handlebar mounted iPhone. Finally, the ability to customise the functionality of the RFLKT+ is huge, and allows you to control your phone whilst it is safely stashed in your pocket. A great new way to use you iPhone as your handlebar mounted GPS cycle computer, for just over £100.

Wahoo RFLKT+ is available from Wiggle Bike Shop (Link)
wahoo rflkt
The RFLKT+ searches for your iPhone using Bluetooth once activated
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Pages are customisable on the Wahoo App, and re-load on start-up
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The display on the iPhone (or iPad as featured here) then reflects onto the RFLKT+
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It's a lot neater and safer than having an iPhone on your handlebars!

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