Three years since the launch of its first ELEMNT GPS computer, Wahoo today announced the next generation ELEMNT ROAM. Cyclist gets an inside look at the all-new GPS computer and unpacks some of the key features we will be thoroughly testing over the coming months.
Wahoo continues to expand the popular range of ELEMNT cycling computers with the release of the ELEMNT ROAM. Featuring an updated contemporary exterior, robust Gorilla Glass screen along with a host of functionality improvements, ROAM will undoubtedly become one of our go-to devices when it comes to adventures both city-bound and beyond. The Wahoo ROAM will start at $599 with heart rate TICKR monitors and speed and/or cadence RPM sensors available for purchase separately. Of course, the ROAM is ready to track, route and record all your ride stats right out of the box.
Wrapped in a design more in-line with the aerodynamic and compact BOLT, ROAM steps up when compared to its predecessor ELEMNT. With an ambient lighting sensor taking care of backlight, the unit and ELEMNT companion APP for iOS and Android simplifies navigation once again with a host of previously missing functions that make route planning, adventuring or simply getting to that recommended cafe from your current location, a breeze.
From select colour highlights on the 2.7″ display through to expanded navigation features like Route to Start, Retrace Your Route (when time runs out) or Get Me Started (when your route starts somewhere else), the ROAM isn’t just for those seeking the roads, trails or tracks less ridden. ROAM also takes on the sleek BOLT mounting system with an aerodynamic and integrated mounting system – affixed in front or on the stem – for a clean finish.
‘The onboard smart navigation certainly appeals to off-road adventure riders however, the ROAM still retains all of the features that make it an amazing bike computer no matter what discipline you enjoy. The user interface remains the same which, as current owners would attest, is very simple to use. There’s no learning process,’ Wahoo’s Australia Country Manager Danny Brkic told Cyclist prior to the launch.
Overall size remains very close to the original ELEMNT while it does receive a safety tether mount just like the BOLT just in case of an incident which sees it knocked from the mount. The tether strap you’ll need to source yourself as it’s not included in the box. ROAM does receive a slight weight drop with a claimed five gram saving over the ELEMNT brining the head unit down to 93.6gm. We’ll be sure to confirm this once a unit arrives for testing. Battery life and storage capacity remains just as reliable and if anything, according to Wahoo.
‘Despite adding a smart colour display and on-device navigation features, we still managed to retain the fantastic battery life people appreciated in the original ELEMNT bike computer – up to 17 hours – while the unit has been optimised to manage space and performance for onboard navigation’, says Danny.
GPS-enabled computers have become part of the furniture for the majority of keen riders. From the professionals through to weekend warriors, the where, what, when and how of each ride has become just as important as the ride itself. ROAM takes care of tracking every bit of data you wish to record with Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi and ANT+ FE-C Control devices all seamlessly connecting to the unit and Companion App so you can recall every beat, stroke, climb and descent, long after the memory of the ride has gone.
‘During the initial startup of ROAM, it will automatically recognise your region – via WiFI – and will begin to seamlessly download your country map while you continue the setup. You’ll be asked if you travel and ride aboard and if you want additional area maps, they are all there and available for free,’ says Danny.
Additionally, Wahoo has expanded the Software integrations with Singletracks and MTB Project providing enhanced mapping for the off-road crowd and while the popular Trailforks is currently missing, we can imagine an update to come over next little while to include even more of your favourite sites and platforms. Of course, Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo, FSA along with a number of body mapping devices will connect to ROAM with data easily recorded and available on screen.
‘There is a very strong software roadmap and I know everyone will be excited with what is coming down the track. At this stage we don’t have WhatsApp integration [iOS/iPhone users can receive iMessage notifications]. What I can say is that our software engineers have a very long wish list of features for the ELEMNT family’, adds Danny.
The out front handlebar mount sits perfect in line with the centre of the stem.
ROAM receives a similar BOLT aero treatment as see via the front scoop shaping.
New to ROAM is a re-routing function because, all of us confuse our left and rights from time to time.
The two buttons on the right side control what is called Perfect View Zoom, with dedicated pages looking after all the stats you want to see and none you don’t.
The integrated mount will also allow the user to semi permanently affix the unit to the mount via a small screw – so it can be counted as part of the bike weight, for the true weight weenies.
You’re on the bike, Claud’s call might just have to wait a while.
Find other nearby Wahooligans via the main map screen.
Save the Live Segments for solo rides because no one in the bunch likes a rider sprinting off into the distance without warning.
That’s a shame. Tyler is always the life of the party. Remember, don’t text and ride.
We’ll be testing the ROAM over the coming months and sharing more of our thoughts once the unit has been given a thorough workout. In the meantime you can find your closest ROAM stockist via the Australian distributor FE Sports.