When three-time UCI Road World Champion, Peter Sagan, crossed the finish line as the winner of the 2018 Paris-Roubax, it was a brilliant achievement. Countless hours of training had gotten him to this point and the tiny screen he was watching was the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt.

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Features:

  • GPS with 2.2″ diagonal screen
  • Fully-customizable screens with expandable data
  • Route mapping with live tracking
  • Onboard altimeter
  • Training plan integration
  • Aerodynamic form factor
  • Includes aero out front mount
  • Connections: ANT+/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi
  • Location tracking for safety contacts
  • Manage settings on device or via Wahoo apps
  • Power-specific data and measurement (including Pioneer HD)
  • 15-hour battery life (micro USB rechargeable)
  • MSRP: $249
Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Review

Post-ride data aplenty with the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt.

Drop-dead Simple GPS Experience

Having used many other GPS devices previously, the Wahoo was immediately a breath of fresh air. With an intuitive and modern mobile app and straightforward on-device settings, I didn’t refer to the manual at all and got up and running with the Quarq DZero Power Meter, Pioneer HD Power Meter, SRAM Red eTap HRD and Shimano Ultegra R8070 Di2 on multiple bikes without a hitch.

Wahoo Fitness is a modern technology company and it shows. Their ELEMNT mobile app is refreshingly-intuitive and full-featured. Syncing all data happens automatically as well as pushing to Strava or other training platforms. Throughout the course of my lengthy testing period (1+ yrs), regular app updates have delivered increased value over time — particularly as I’ve used power meters, cadence sensors, etc.

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Review

Can you spot the Bolt?

All charts are intuitive and clear for easy post-workout analysis. Certainly, I still use Strava for analysis, but when digging in, the Wahoo ELEMNT app is stellar. Additionally, all screen setup and settings management is also done via the mobile app. Screen configuration and the data shown is easily set up at any time.

That said, as the amount of data is displayed, the 2.2″ screen can become crowded. However, when showing a reasonable amount of data, it remains easily-viewed under all light conditions. Kudos to the high-contrast screen here — it’s solid.

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Review

That backlight is impressive. (Note the 5:58 am start on this gravel ride.)

The ELEMNT Bolt utilizes physical buttons on the front and sides that are easily-pressed and accessed with or without full-finger gloves. Scrolling through screens is easy and zooming in/out of those screens is done using the two buttons on the right side.

GPS quality has been stellar — even in deep canyons where some units have lost connectivity. I’ve yet to have the device crap out during a ride and GPS lock is always rapid.

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Review

Racking up the miles and tracking performance on endless Minnesota gravel.

Paired with power meters, I’m getting real-time visibility into my performance with the programmable LED QuickLook Indicators atop the unit. Those lights can be configured to display speed, heart rate or power metrics in a visual, color-changing dial. I can visually see that I’m suffering (as if I can’t tell), but knowing that I’m red-lining does help me understand how long I can keep going or if I have a little extra in me.

With an included out front mount, the ELEMNT Bolt sits in a great position and can be swapped on/off the bike in a jiffy. It has stayed put under all conditions (road and gravel bikes). Wahoo touts the aerodynamics of the Bolt and mount, which is impossible to test, but for world-class athletes, may be it makes a difference. I’ll just say that it looks sleek and integrated, which is enough for me.

The Good

  • Reliable and trouble-free (not a single mishap in 18+ months)
  • Quick GPS lock and start-up
  • Companion mobile app is industry-leading
  • Screen is easily-viewed day/night
  • Expandable screens allow for a lot or a little data shown
  • Notifies of low battery on device or connected devices
  • Easily syncs to a myriad of items (power meters, drivetrains, heart rate straps, etc.)

The Bad

  • Lacks multiple profile support for separate bikes

The Bottom Line: Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt

When it comes to ease-of-use, the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt takes the crown — hand’s down. I haven’t even had so much of a glitch with the Bolt in 18 months of rigorous testing. It pairs easily with all devices I’ve thrown its way and the screen remains easily-viewed all day long. It’s aerodynamic, I guess, but the minuscule gains it provides there are far outshined by the overall performance. All hail the new GPS king.

Buy Now: Available at Competitivecyclist.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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