Indoor Training

A Look At Wahoo Elemnt and Smart Trainers Support

 

Just one year after Wahoo introduced the Wahoo Elemnt bike trainer, we now have another bike computer from Wahoo Fitness, the Elemnt BOLT. The BOLT was introduced just last week and I had a chance to play with it for a bit.

The BOLT is basically another option from Wahoo Fitness to accommodate riders that want a smaller bike computer. Also, Wahoo is marketing the BOLT as the most and only bike computer that is aerodynamic if used with the included bike mount. Indeed, it does look aero and Wahoo even claims that it will save you 12.4 seconds over a 40k TT traveling around 21mph.

This is all great and I am all for free speed. And it looks good too, but how do the Elemnt and Elemnt BOLT work with all the smart bike trainers out there?

One of the neat features of smart bike trainers is the ability to adjust resistance via an app on your phone, a software on your computer, or a bike computer like the Garmin Edge.

Wahoo is a smart bike trainers company so you would expect them to support smart trainers. The Elemnt does pair with any smart bike trainer that is FE-C, or Smart Bluetooth compatible and receive information from the trainer such as power, speed/cadence, etc.

WHAT ABOUT CONTROLLING TRAINERS?

If you have a Wahoo KICKR or KICKR Snap, then you are in good shape. Wahoo Elemnt and BOLT will pair with your compatible trainer and you will have access to a lot of functions instantly such as ERG mode, % resistance, route mode, or passive mode.

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But what about other smart trainers that are not from Wahoo? I tested the BOLT with Tacx NEO, Elite Qubo, and Kinetic Smart. The Elemnt was able to pair with all of them, HOWEVER, you won’t be able to control any of them via Smart Bluetooth or FE-C. (Update 8/23/2017: A new update was released to control ANT+ FE-C compatible trainers)

According to Wahoo, support for FE-C trainers is coming in the Fall of 2017 via a firmware update.

So, if you use other apps to control your trainer, like Zwift or TrainerRoad for example, then this might not be a deal breaker for you and it’s probably not for most users. However, if you rely on your bike computer to adjust resistance, watts, or ride courses then you might want to consider the Garmin Edge 820 or 520.

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