Review - Wahoo ELMENT BOLT

Last year, I reviewed the Wahoo ELEMNT, and it quickly won me over. The unit became my go-to cycle computer for everything for daily commuting, to guiding me across Europe on the 'Coasts and Cols' tour, and then this year on the #7Countries7Passes.

The Wahoo ELEMNT has a little brother though. The ELEMNT BOLT is a smaller, lighter, and sleeker version of the original ELEMNT. Yet, it retains the majority of the great easy-to-use functionality of the original unit. I decided to down-size, to see if it was an upgrade...

The Aero Advantage

On my daily commute, and when trekking across Europe on a fully-laden touring bike, I am not sure I have too many concerns about how aerodynamic my profile is. That said, I do like things to look sleek and well-profiled; the Wahoo BOLT does that.

Wahoo market the ELEMNT BOLT as the most aerodynamic cycle computer out there. It has a unique design that means on its out-front mount the computer and mount lock together to create a smooth and slender profile.

I might not have noticed the 'marginal gains' from the aero advantage, but I have noticed that the smaller size of the BOLT and the integrated out-front mount are more pleasing on the eye. Those OCD tendencies are satisfied...




Functionality

The functionality of the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT is largely identical to that of the original ELEMNT - you can read more about it in my original review here.

The principle difference is the smaller screen size, and that the BOLT only has lights along the top of the display, rather than also on the side of the unit. To be honest, this latter difference makes little change to me, as I often have the side lights turned off to save battery.

Since my original review of the ELEMNT, it is worth saying that there have been some significant upgrades to the already great functionality of the unit. These include Strava Live Segment integration, turn-by-turn LED guidance, Wahoo KICKR controls, improved elevation profiling, and greater integration with mobile Bluetooth notifications. These are all fantastic software upgrades, which are available on both the ELEMNT and ELEMNT BOLT.




Any downsides?

The only downsides of the ELEMNT BOLT versus the original ELEMNT, are the reduced size and reduced battery life.

Whilst the smaller size is great for a more minimalist look, it does mean that it is more difficult to read the mapping display on the BOLT.

Additionally, the smaller size also means a smaller battery life, so the BOLT will only last for approximately 8 hours with all bells and whistles going, compared to more like 12 hours on the larger ELEMNT unit.



Overall

The Wahoo ELEMNT won me over, with its incredible ease-of-use, and great mobile app integration. The ELEMNT BOLT features all the same great functionality, but in a smaller and lighter package.

For day-to-day use, the BOLT has become my preferred option. For long distance tours, I think I would still opt for the larger ELEMNT, because of its mapping and longer battery life.

They are both fantastic units though, and far better than the majority of the competition, in my experience.



A compact option - the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt

Elevation display on the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt

Wahoo ELEMNT
The original Wahoo ELEMNT is still a fantastic option for long distance touring

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