First Ride: Wahoo Elemnt Roam

Bigger, better and with a bit of color

Wahoo just released their latest flagship cycling computer, the Elemnt Roam. It has the same size 2.7” display as the original Elemnt but it has received some major improvements. Wahoo has moved the display panel closer to the scratch resistant display panel. There is now a satin finish that reduces glare too. The new display now adds color. All of these small but impactful changes enhance the experience of the new smart navigation features that can automatically route you back onto a planned route when you go off course, create a new route on the fly, or help you find the fastest way home.One of the things we love most about the larger screen is the fact that you can run up to eleven data fields. Then with the right side buttons you can zoom in or out. This will allow you to display less fields but they will increase in size. When setting up each page make sure you prioritize the fields you rely on most at the top because as you zoom the ones lowest on the list will be hidden.

Wahoo implements small hints of color to enhance the overall experience. The new navigation features are easy to use and makes for easy navigation in areas you are not familiar with. We took advantage of the “navigation to start” for a route that someone had supplied us while we were traveling. The only problem we have experienced with the navigation is roundabouts. While they are rare in the States they are very common in Europe and on all three occasions that we had to navigate one we were misled.

One of the things that we are most excited about on the Roam is the ability to have up to six data fields on the maps screen. This way for races like Dirty Kanza we don’t have to switch back and forth between pages. While six leaves the map small we found that four was ideal for us. You can also show the elevation profile on this page if needed but that really starts to minimize the usefulness of the map.

The new Roam maintains the dual quick look LEDs that run along the top and left side. The top bar of LEDs is for notifications and navigation while the left bar can be programmed to display speed, power zones or heart rate zones. We really like this aspect of the computer for a quick glance to see what zone we are in but they can be hard to see in direct sunlight. The left LEDs can also be quickly changed on the head unit or you can also resort to the app as well.

The new shaping of the Roam takes what was implemented on the Bolt to a larger scale. The Roam is much sleeker than the original Elemnt. For those that have invested in mounts from other brands like K-Edge or Barfly the Roam will work but will lose the cohesive and sleek interface that the stock mount offers.

From the center of our bars the Roam extends 12cm while the smaller Bolt sits at 10cm, both using the supplied out front aero mount.

Setup like all previous Wahoo computers is done using the Elemnt app. This makes for quick and easy initial setup. The only downside to the system is that if you have set a field that you don’t want and you notice on a ride you will have to use your phone to make the change because there is no way to do it on the head unit itself.

At first glance, the new Roam looks very similar in shape and design to the Bolt but as you can see the overall size of the Roam is much larger. The improved display and also makes one of the easiest to see screens even easier in all lighting conditions.

Sometimes it is the small things that drive us nuts and on the Bolt it was the fact that we couldn’t center the computer on a large number of bikes. As you can see the bolt is as close to the stem on the bars and still does not align in the center. Thanks to the larger size the Roam is much better but there are still a few stems out there that might be a bit off center.

There is also a new light sensor that is very convenient. But during our testing the street lights were bright enough to kick the backlight off. This back and forth switching was distracting and for us we had to take it out of the auto setting. Luckily this is also a setting that can be changed without the app directly on the head unit. If you do use the app there is a setting for time and it is by default 5 seconds but can be changed and we have ours set to 40 seconds.

For more info on the Wahoo Elemnt Roam or any of their other products head to www.wahoofitness.com.

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