Saturday, June 17, 2023

GPS Take 3: Wahoo Elemnt ROAM Part 2

 This is the update to my first take on the Wahoo Elemnt ROAM which posted earlier this week HERE.

In that post I had some news about the screen freezing up. In the comments on that post a reader that goes by "Nooge" here thought that perhaps the screen freeze issue was atmospheric related. The skies were heavily overcast that day of my first try with the Wahoo and there could have been a lot of Canadian wildfire smoke in the upper atmosphere that may have led to poor GPS satellite reception. 

Now with my second attempt at using the Elemnt ROAM, I found myself under a partly cloudy sky. This time there were no screen freeze-ups, so I am thinking Nooge was on to something there and that there are really no worries with the unit. 

The thing I wanted to cover today is the Summit Freeride feature which Wahoo added to this new Elemnt ROAM only this past Spring. It is a feature that will alert you to an upcoming climb and then give you data on the climb, its length, the severity of the gradient, and gives you a "time to summit" based on your speed. 

 No hiccups on the latest ride.
Okay, so I did not know that this Summit Freeride feature is more or less automatic. If the unit detects an upcoming climb of any significance, and no matter what page you are currently using, it "interrupts this program" with an alert. "CLIMB!" This is accompanied by an audible beep. '

At that point you are redirected to the special Summit Freeride screen which has gradient, a graphic of the climb, your progress, and "time to summit" which I assume is based upon your pacing. 

It was kind of neat to see your time count down and watch the gradient readout as you climb. I like a bit of distraction when I am putting out an effort, I don't know about you. For me it makes things go by easier and takes my mind off of the pain/tedium/whatever. 

Once the "summit" is reached there is another shout-out on the screen- "SUMMIT!" - and then poof! That special screen is gone and you find yourself back where you were at on whichever screen it was you were using before the climb. 

I like this feature, but.... I could see where you might not like it if you were looking at the map on the screen and then this interrupts that. Especially if you are following a turn-by-turn navigation course. Or perhaps you can override the Summit Freeride special screen? I have to do some more deep-diving on Wahoo's site to see about this. Update: Yes - You can turn off the function that switches to the Summit Freeride page automatically, but according to the app, it still alerts you so you can switch to it. (?) We will have to see how that works now.

As for the rest of the unit - so far - I am good. I like the Elemnt ROAM as much as I did my old Lezyne because it pretty much does what that computer did. Plus, the Elemnt ROAM  has a very crisp color screen, the climbing page, the Summit Freeride, and it should have turn-by-turn navigation. I sure hope that part works out well, because if so, I would consider this product a home run, at least from my viewpoint. Then it would be just a matter of longevity. 

So far, so good. This is - by far - a waaaaaaay better experience than the Karoo2. It's actually a fun product to use with little to no frustrations at all. Isn't that what a cycling product should be able to do? Help you have fun? Well, Wahoo has made that happen up to this point for me. 

Remember: The Standard Disclaimer applies.


MG said...

Nice… I’m glad you’ve found a GPS computer that works well for you. I’ve had nothing but good experience with Wahoo… both the devices and the company. Top notch all around.

Barry said...

Turn by turn works, however I've never been able to get it work with Strava generated maps on my Roam. The Wahoo is supposed to add the cues, but I've had no such luck. RideWithGPS routes work just fine.

Guitar Ted said...

@MG - Thanks Brother!

Guitar Ted said...

@Barry - Interesting. Well, I am not on Strava, so maybe I am an odd-ball in that way.

Nooge said...

There’s a new software update today for the Wahoo computers. They publish release notes at this link.

Guitar Ted said...

@Nooge - Thank you. In my next update you'll learn about some more odd things I got this device to do/show me. Not sure "I" did it, or if this is a bug, but yeah.... Still having hiccups and I have a person give me a "tinfoil hat" theory on why that may be.