Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Review – High-end GPS Bike Computer

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The new top model from Wahoo extensively tested in practice. Learn all the details about the GPS bike navigator Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM* in this review.

New features of the GPS bike computer, such as the new hardware and the great map navigation are presented in particular detail in the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM test.

You’re in a hurry? Click here to go directly to the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer*
  • Spezifische Aktivität: MTB-Trail, Rennrad

* Aktualisierung am 2021-10-17, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Werbung, Bild:Amazon

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Highlights

What are the big features of the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM?

clearly readable display (even in sunlight)
Vastly improved bike navigation incl. Routes recalculation
easy setup and operation of the bike GPS computer.
Top integration of many sports portals and apps
✅ Mature and stable software

Werbung
bikepacking-adventures_helden

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM bei Amazon kaufen*

With the new generation of the ELEMNT, Wahoo has arrived in the upper league of GPS bike computers.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer Aero Mount
The Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM securely attached to the aero mount

Fortunately, the GPS bike computer retains its extensive training features for road cyclists. With the ROAM Wahoo has especially the navigation greatly improved. Thus, the bike GPS Navi is now also particularly exciting for mountain bikers and touring cyclists.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Test – GPS Bike Computer

Here in the test I write about experiences with the for me most important functions of the device. Possibly important points fall under the table, which are not important for me but for you. You have further questions that I have not answered here in the test? Then please write me in the comments. I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Read the detailed practical test of the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS bike computer now.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer Aero Mount Cockpit
The GPS Bike Computer from Wahoo looks good on the bike cockpit

Hardware and memory of the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

The dimensions of the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM are 58.4 x 89 x 17.8 mm and the bike nav weighs 94 grams without the mount, according to the manufacturer. I can confirm the weight, because I weighed it by.
The Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS bike computer is protected against water and dust according to IPX7 standard (waterproof up to 1.52 m).

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Test Holder on Bike GPS Navi
The nav mount holds the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM securely on the stem or handlebars

The internal memory is tight: 2 GB are available. You can find out what this means in practice in the Navigation section. The internal memory cannot be expanded via microSD.

The delivery is lush and consists of the GPS bike computer itself, an aero mount and a stem mount. In addition, a micro USB cable is supplied with the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM can be charged. Charging works either via a USB charger and also while using a powerbank. The large scope of delivery and charging via USB in operation really pleased me in the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM test.

Both brackets are very stable. So when pressing the function buttons of the bike computer nothing wobbles. Very good, because this allows the ROAM wonderful while driving, during the bike navigation, one-handed operation.

For positioning Wahoo uses a variety of technologies: GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, Galileo and the Japanese QZSS are available. What does this mean in practice? At startup, the cycling computer quickly finds the first reception and during navigation a stable connection is available.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Test Mount
The Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Aero mount attached to the handlebars

So when it comes to hardware, there are universally positive Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM experiences 🙂

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Display

The Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM’s display is a size 2.7 inches with a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels. Is that contemporary?

Out on the bike the display then shows its strengths: It is clearly readable at all times. Whether directly in the sun, in changing light in the forest or with the sun already setting, the display is clearly readable even in difficult lighting conditions.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer Navigation Arrows
The display is excellently readable and only minimally reflective even in strong light.

Already the predecessor ELEMNT with its Monchrom Display was top readable. With the ROAM GPS bike computer Wahoo now goes one step further: A light matte writing Gorilla Glass is directly above the display. This has two advantages: Reflections are reduced and the display is better protected from scratches.

The big innovation is the color display! Wahoo calls this technology selective colors: The Wahoo GPS bike computer does not have a full color display and colors are used rather sparingly. Still a big step up from its predecessors, and it’s just more fun and clear to use with the selective colors. My Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM experiences with the display are consistently good and I’m excited about the new color display. The bike navigation is so much more fun 🙂

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Experience Display Readability
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM display with strong backlight: The navi arrows are also now very well visible

A row of LEDs is also located above and to the left of the display. These help you navigate or train. They flash accordingly when you are above or below your set averages. For example, the speed, your performance or other values.

I find the LEDs most useful in the navigation: There you will then turn-by-turn directions displayed by running lights. Right exciting< / g> these LEDs, as I find, when navigating. Running light for junctions support you additionally.

Battery life in the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM test

The Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM has a built-in Li-Ion battery.

The manufacturer specifies 17 hours of battery life. In my numerous test rides and tours, the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM experience with battery life was also very positive:
In practice, the GPS Bike Computer comes to a runtime of a very good 14 to 18 hours.
Depending on how the Wahoo GPS bike computer is used and whether, for example, the display light is turned on.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Test Micro USB Jack
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Test: The bike GPS Navi is charged via Micro USB socket and can also be powered during operation

A micro USB socket is installed on the bottom. USB-C would of course be more practical here.
Very positive: Even in operation, the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM can be charged – for example via a powerbank. A rubber cover is supposed to protect the charging port from water and dirt.

Sensors and Connections on the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

Drahtlos lassen sich beim Fahrrad Navi jede Menge Sensoren anbinden. Der Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM beherrscht sowohl ANT+ wie auch Bluetooth.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Experience Sensor Pairing
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM experience – sensors can be paired directly on the device
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Connect Experience Sensor
Connecting sensors is also possible in the Wahoo ELEMNT app

These range from powermeters to heart rate chest straps, arm heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, speed sensors and wireless shifting like a Di2 and AXS shifting. I tested the Wahoo cadence sensor and the heart rate sensor myself.

You can add new sensors either directly on the ELEMNT or via your smartphone:

Add sensor directly to ELEMNT

Sensors can be quickly added directly to the ELEMNT ROAM.

Add sensor with smartphone

If you have your smartphone handy, I recommend this method. Thanks to the large touchscreen it’s easier to add sensors. You can also take care of naming and customizing the data pages right away.

So for me, adding via smartphone is the preferred way.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Operation and Settings

Please note: You need a smartphone to set up the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM. The Wahoo app is available for Android and iOS. If the GPS navigation system is set up, you don’t need to have your smartphone with you when cycling.

Here you can download the free Wahoo ELEMNT app:

ELEMNT
Price: Free

Setting up the GPS Navi is simple and intuitive: Launch the app. Then scan the QR code with your smartphone camera. This is automatically shown on the Wahoo display when the ROAM is started for the first time. Both devices are now paired with each other. A really simple process.

From now on the devices automatically connect with each other. If the smartphone is connected with the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM, the message “Paired with mobile phone” appears on the display of the bike GPS Navi. The connection is usually established after 15 to 20 seconds. The smartphone operation makes the Wahoo ELEMENT ROAM experience different from what you’re used to. Once familiar with it, in many cases the operation is then simpler, more logical and intuitive than expected.

For example, customizing data fields is also quick and intuitive via smartphone. Changes made are synced to the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM in what feels like real time.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Test Customize Data Fields
Data pages and data fields can be conveniently customized in the Wahoo ELEMNT app

If both devices are paired, you can also start cycling immediately. Or you can set up the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS bike computer completely according to your ideas. You can define settings such as language and unit of measurement via the smartphone. You can also easily view data pages and link to online portals like Strava and komoot through the app.

Reading tip: How to set up the auto upload from the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM to komoot and Strava? In the article komoot experience & comprehensive guide there is a simple step by step guide for you.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Bike Navigation with App
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM – Bike Navigation with App: Routes from komoot and Strava can be transferred easily

The Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM does not know profiles for different bike types like road bike or MTB. This consistent simplification naturally benefits ease of use.

The bicycle GPS navigator does not have a touchscreen and is therefore operated using the buttons on the housing. I think this is a good decision: The buttons on the housing have a clear pressure point and are easy to operate even while driving.

In total, there are the following keys:

  • Left on the case: The button turns on the ROAM or takes you to the menu.
  • On the right side of the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM: buttons for up and down navigation in the menus.
  • Below the display of the bike GPS Navi: Three buttons, which are assigned differently depending on the current screen. The function of the button is explained at the bottom of the screen.

All buttons are easily accessible and have a clear pressure point. Thus, the GPS Navi can be operated easily and safely even while driving.

The original mounts hold the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM securely in place. Also the side buttons can be operated well and there is no danger that the GPS Navi loosens by too firm pressure and falls to the ground – great!

Only when pressing the side buttons do both mounts give a bit. Speak the stem and the handlebar mount. As said: The Navi holds securely in place. One or the other would like to secure the possibly the GPS Navi with a firm grip and build up counterpressure. I don’t think that’s necessary.

The buttons at the bottom of the display are modeled after the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT and have a super pressure point.

Bike Navigation with Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

Strong improvements and the biggest advantages compared to the previous ELEMNT and ELEMENT BOLT are in the navigation area. Wahoo has improved a lot here and given the ROAM strong navigation features. This is immediately noticeable at the beginning of the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM test!

Rerolling prepared routes: This function is conveniently solved. The ROAM shows here how a modern bicycle GPS navigator should work. You plan your route in a partner app such as komoot. You can do this either on your computer or in the komoot smartphone app. With the push of a button, the route is then transferred to the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS bike computer via WLAN and can be retraced.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Test komoot Strava
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Test: Basic bike navigation is also possible directly on the GPS bike computer

Now for the actual navigation: While riding, the ROAM GPS Bike Computer shows you the way along your planned route with beeps, clearly visible arrow lines and LEDs on the housing. The navigation worked well with the previous ELEMNT and ELEMNT Bolt. With the new color display, the display is even better and the bike navigation is even more fun.

My Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM experience with the navigation: Here many functions have been greatly improved. The navigation is now really useful thanks to detailed maps and re-routing.

Map management in the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

On previous Wahoo bike navs, the map was just a picture in the background. With ROAM, the map now also contains routing information. If you deviate from the route, the Navi can so now bring you back on the route. The calculation of this alternative route is possible through the new additional information in the map material. The bike navigation is thereby immediately very much more comfortable and practical.

This is a big advantage over its predecessors and a big step in navigation functionality.

Of course, the maps with the additional information now also require more memory. With the old ELEMNT, for example, the map of Germany required 300 MB. With the ROAM GPS Bike Computer it is now more than 1 GB.

For me it is therefore incomprehensible that the ROAM is only equipped with an internal memory of 2 GB. This can also not be expanded with a MicroSD card. That would have been too easy.

What does this mean in practice: If, for example, the maps of Germany, Austria and Italy are installed, then the ROAM GPS bike computer still has 215 MB of free memory. Let’s be honest: For most users, this doesn’t mean much of a restriction in practice, and if the worst comes to the worst, there’s usually a WLAN nearby. Then new cards can be reloaded. I still would have liked a contemporary, large memory here. The current solution is not ideal,but I’m fine with it.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Experience Load and Update Maps
Load and update maps: The Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM comes with free world map

Positive Wahoo ELEMENT ROAM experience loading and updating maps: The Wahoo ELEMENT ROAM comes including a free world map. Already installed are vector maps of countries from North and South America, Europe and Oceania. Additional maps for the rest of the world can be downloaded and updated free of charge via WLAN. The management of the maps as well as the update is conveniently possible via the Wahoo ELEMNT app.

Further navigation functions

Even complete routes can be calculated on the device. For example, already filed favorites or the fastest way directly to the starting point.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Experience Navigation Back to the Start
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Experience: Navigation back to the start can be activated directly on the GPS bike computer

In my introduction video with test drive you get an even better insight about the navigation. I present the other possibilities of navigation in this article.

If the internal route calculation is used, you cannot enter route preferences such as “fastest route” (as of September 2019). I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If you use an app for route planning like komoot then you have all the possibilities for route design and for your preferences. If there are any news about this topic, you will find it here of course 😉

Comparison and difference: Current Wahoo models

Vorschau
Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS-Fahrradcomputer
Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer, Black
Preis
239,99 EUR
Price not available
Prime-Vorteil
-
Kundenbewertung
-
-
Vorschau
Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS-Fahrradcomputer
Preis
239,99 EUR
Weitere Infos
Prime-Vorteil
Kundenbewertung
-
Vorschau
Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer, Black
Preis
Price not available
Weitere Infos
Prime-Vorteil
-
Kundenbewertung
-

* Aktualisierung am 2021-10-17, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Werbung, Bild:Amazon

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Experience and Summary

With the ELEMNT ROAM, Wahoo builds the GPS bike computer with the best display yet. You get practical bike navigation and rerouting features. However, the internal memory should be larger. The setup via smartphone is quick and easy and the bike GPS navigator can be operated precisely via the housing buttons even while riding.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM test conclusion: In summary, all cyclists and bikers who like to follow pre-planned tours get with the ROAM a device clearly from the upper class..

Buy Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM – yes or no?

The manufacturer Wahoo comes from the cycling industry. The predecessors from the ELEMNT series also felt at home on the road bike. With the ROAM, Wahoo goes one step further and greatly expands the navigation functions in particular. Thus, the new Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM is also perfect for MTB and touring cyclists to recommend .

The reasons: On the new colour display with clearly displayed map navigation, you can see your route perfectly at all times even in difficult conditions and thus easily follow your bike tour. Popular sport portals like Strava and Komoot are integrated and you have a lot of possibilities for tour planning.

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer*
  • Spezifische Aktivität: MTB-Trail, Rennrad

* Aktualisierung am 2021-10-17, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Werbung, Bild:Amazon

Good

ingenious color display with illumination
Vastly improved bike navigation incl. Route recalculation
✅ easy to use
✅ large selection
of integrated sports portals (Strava, komoot, etc.).
sensible key arrangement and keys with clear pressure point
stable mounts (handlebar and stem mount)

Bad

❌ small memory – not expandable
❌ Map not scrollable during navigation
❌ No wheel profiles
❌ missing routing settings

Alternatives to the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM

Garmin Edge 1030

The Wahoo alternative from Garmin is called Edge 1030. You get a larger display here with more displayable colors and a touchscreen. The range of functions is larger and therefore you also get wheel profiles. However, the increased range of functions makes operation more complicated and not everyone likes a particularly large navigation device on the bike.

Garmin Edge 1030 Unisex Hand Gps - Erwachsene, Schwarz und Weiß
  • Fahrradcomputer mit 3,5 Zoll großem Display, umfassenden Navigationsfunktionen sowie Leistung- und Fahrradsicherheitsfunktionen
  • Trendline Popularity Routing zeigt basierend auf Milliarden von Kilometern an Streckendaten von Garmin Connect die besten Straßen- und Geländerouten an
  • Vorinstallierte Fahrradkarte für Abbiegehinweise und neue Navigationsalarme

* Aktualisierung am 2021-10-17, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Werbung, Bild:Amazon

To the detailed Garmin Edge 1030 field test (test & experiences)

Sigma ROX 12.0 Sport

The Sigma ROX 12 is another Wahoo ELEMENT ROAM alternative. The strengths of this bike GPS Navi are especially the tour navigation. The quality of the display doesn’t quite come close to that of the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM. On the other hand, the sports functions including profiles are well developed and online sports portals like komoot and Strava are also sensibly integrated.

SIGMA SPORT ROX 12.0, GPS Fahrradcomputer mit Kartennavigation und Farbdisplay
  • FAHRRADNAVI: vielfältige Navigations- und Routing-Optionen, OSM-Fahrradkarten weltweit inklusive; Anbindung an komoot und Strava
  • FAHRRADCOMPUTER: Anbindung an Strava, komoot, & TrainingPeaks; individuelle Workouts, 30 Trainingsansichten, beliebig viele Sportprofile, kompatibel mit gängigen Leistungsmesssystemen u. a. mit Rotor 2INpower (OCA, OCP)
  • SCHNELLE DATENÜBERTRAGUNG: WIFI Schnittstelle, Synchronisierung der Trainingsdaten zum SIGMA DATA CENTER und Sigma LINK App via Sigma CLOUD, ANT+, Schnittstelle, GPS und GLONASS

* Aktualisierung am 2021-10-17, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Werbung, Bild:Amazon

To the detailed Sigma ROX 12.0 Sport field test (test & experiences)

What do you think of Wahoo’s ELEMNT ROAM? Do you have any questions? Write me your comment, please.

The GPS bike computer tested here doesn’t suit you? In the extensive Bicycle Navi Test I have all recommendable Fahrad Navis clearly in the comparison. I regularly update the test. Best check out the article now.

Geschrieben von Michael Luplow
Hallo, ich bin Michael, Bikepacker, Abenteuerfan und der Mensch hinter Bikepacking-Adventures. Die Idee für bikepacking-adventures.com entstand direkt hinter dem Fahrrad-Lenker! Nämlich als ich auf einer Fahrrad Tour von Deutschland nach Istanbul war. Hier geht es um Abenteuerreisen mit dem Fahrrad und um Bikepacking auf allen Kontinenten dieser Erde! Du möchtest mehr wissen oder hast Tipps? Schreib mir einfach!

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