I’ve been using a wahoo elemnt for a while now, and the Garmin 520 has Sat all forlorn on the shelf.
Today however saw it dusted off, and remounted after the elemnt mount broke. It’s a bit of a bad design. You can never have it just tight enough on the bar not to slip. Which meant I tightened it, only to pull the brass press fit screw thread out.
But going back to the garmin, made me realise that there is actually stuff I’d missed that the elemnt hasn’t got. And the opposite too. I missed some of the features of the Elemnt.
So, in no particular order here is what I miss when using the 520
- Screen and font size. The elemnt screen is huge compared to the garmin, and easier to glance at to get the information quickly
- Button location. The buttons on the garmin are awkward, and located oddly
- Maps. Maps are a hell of alot easier and clearer on the elemnt.
That’s just what comes from the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more.
Things I miss when using the Elemnt
- Recovery advisor, Vo2 and auto FTP. A small and insignificant feature set, but one I like to have.
- Varia light control. I’ve got a full set of Varia lights which obviously don’t work with the Elemnt. Yet. With See.Sense working on their Ace light set, it might get supported.
- Beeps and other bongs. The Elemnt is mute when compared to the 520, with a much smaller speaker.
- Not having to correct speed spikes after autopause. Seriously wahoo, that’s annoying
Again, just off the top of my head.
But weighing up the pros and cons of each unit, it’s clear to me that the elemnt is the first computer I reach for when getting ready.
Going around the various forums, one of the common questions I see, is “what fields should I have?” when setting up a GPS computer.
I’d previously done this type of post for my garmin so I’d thought I’d do one for the screens on my elemnt.
The first page is pretty much on screen most of the time. It contains all the critical information.
- W 5 sec, this simply shows my 5 second average power.
- KPH, is my current speed. I’ve found d myself looking at power more than speed recently, so speed is relegated to second field.
- BPM, current heart rate I have my heart rate zones displayed on the left hand LED display.
- RPM, my current cadence
- KM, Distance travelled
- Elevation, current elevation above sea-level.
- DEG-C current temperature
I don’t need much else on that screen. Using the zoom function on the elemnt, the 4 top items are the ones that are most important and on screen in a zoom state.
The climbing screen is pretty much the default. I think I just added RPM and BPM datafields.
There is the default Elevation display at the bottom of the screen.
Similar to the Main screen, this screen shows all the important metrics, along with a KM to go display for the currently loaded course and a ride time display too. As the Elemnt lacks the timed course feature on the Garmin, we have to remember the time we are out to beat and do it manually.
So, I’ve changed over from a Garmin 520 to a Wahoo Elemnt. And despite the missing vowel, it’s a worthy Garmin competitor.
Initially, I thought the LED’s where a little gimmick, but they are actually bloody useful. I’ve currently got mine set to display heart rate zone but have also used them for average speed, and found them useful for a quick reference point.
Screen wise, it’s a lot more readable in all conditions than the garmin, with better field presentation. Speaking of fields, setting up screens on the elemnt is stupidly easy. You just select the fields in the app, and drag and drop to were you want them on screen. Nothing could be easier. Non of this many button pressing garmin malarkey.
I’d replaced the maps on the garmin with open street maps from garmin.openstreetmap.nl which where miles better than the tosh you got preloaded. You can’t replace maps on the elemnt, however they are more than good enough to use as is.
All in all, a great bike GPS unit, and one that’s earned a place on my bike. Just a shame it dos’nt support my garmin lights. Yet.