Hammerhead Wahoo

As you may be aware, I’ve gained a Wahoo Bolt version 2. I’ve also gained a Hammerhead Karoo 2. I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of each, in order to decide who gets the priority on my bars. We shall start with the wahoo. I’ve time for wahoo, I’ve previously used the original ELEMNT, and found it very good.

So, the bolt has had a couple of issues, but they appear to of been sorted with firmware updates. So, feature wise, the bolt is feature sparse. It does routes, strava segments and everything else you’d expect a gps unit to do. It doesn’t have the climber feature that the Karoo has. But what it does, it does really well. I find it easy to glance down, and see what I need quickly and easily. Even in bright sunlight it’s clear and easy to see. The size however can be an issue. At times, it can just be a little small, especially with turn by turn directions where the instruction is quite long. Wahoo have addressed this by increasing the font size, but sometimes it can still be too small.

The map is detailed enough to see upcoming roads and details, it does however lack certain details. The changes wahoo have made to the maps have been beneficial to the bolt, with inbuilt elevation and street details making on device routing quick and easy.

The varia radar works with clear distinct tones, one thing that irks me, is while the radar is connected, the green bar is permanently on screen, mind you this is the same on all garmin units too. Overall, I like the unit.

The Karoo is a beast. Both in size and power. Based on android, it’s closer to a mobile phone than GPS. It is an excellent unit for exploring, with incredible mapping, that includes many POI and details. Where this unit falls down for me, is readability in sunlight. It’s not great.

However, the varia radar bar does disappear when it’s not required. Sensor wise, both units pair to all sensors you’d expect. Power meters, varia, speed, heart rate etc. One bonus for the Karoo, is that like Garmin units, it can control smart lights. Not with the finesse of Garmin units, but it’ll turn them on at the start of a ride, and off at the end. Both units have issues with my stages gen2 crank. Neither will calibrate, and the hammerhead only connects over BlueTooth. Ant+ causes the power meter to drop out often. To be fair, I’ve not tried calibration on the bolt after the last couple of updates, and hammerhead are saying they are working on power meter code. Both units on that note get regular updates, with Karoo every couple of weeks, and the bolt less frequently.

Update: as of firmware WA20-12513. The bolt now correctly calibrates the Power meter. Karoo have also released an update 1.220.1066 which states they have fixed the issue, but I’ve yet to test. Now I’ve given the hammerhead a quick test to see, and it does calibrate. I shall ride with it tomorrow and see about dropouts.

Using the unit, I find myself looking at it far longer than the bolt, partly due to glare, partly due to having to hunt for what I need. Swiping the data rich pages is a pleasure, each page coming on per swipe. But I don’t get that instant data I get with the bolt. And that’s an issue to me. However, if I was exploring a new area, the Karoo is my choice due to routing, maps and accuracy. If I’m just out on a ride, following a route or not, the bolt is on my bars.

New and old

A new bike computer.

So, I managed to get hold of the he Wahoo ELEMNT bolt. This second version adds a new colour screen, new buttons and some new bugs and issues.

So, while most of the bloggers are going on about the new screens, convex buttons and on device routing, I find some of the bugs quite problematic. Especially the elevation issue. It just reads far too high, and no way of calibrating it.

Apart from this, I’m enjoying the new unit. In order to mount this, I also got hold of an Excellent mount, the Form Mount. Installation was a tad painful, but it’s an excellent mount with a lot of customisation.

I’ve also ditched my look keo blade pedals. They required a service as they where starting to sound rough as hell. Could I find away of stripping them down? Nope. There are videos on YouTube on how to service them, and yet my pedals didn’t match anything at all. No bolts, no flats, nothing. So, back on my trusty shimano R550. At least they can be fully stripped, cleaned and greased without any drama.

And oddly comfortable.

Any way, I’m off to play with the wahoo data fields.

First day done

A longish ride for the first day of the charity event.

Decided on York as my destination, but a route I haven’t previously used. It was a good choice, as I really enjoyed the route, it was quiet with minimum traffic, and the cars that where on the road passed brilliantly.

The route started through Knaresborough, out to Farnham, Arkendale and the first rest point, the bridge over the A1.

From there, it was a quick jaunt out to the village of Martin-cum-grafton and out to Great Ouseburn. I stopped here for a little while, and watched so many cyclists out. It’s a great sight. Setting off again, my Garmin had a bit of a brain fart and couldn’t find my route. A quick bit of thought, and circling found it again and off I went. The whole route from here on, is pretty much flat.

But that as it is, I’d no matter I’m throughly enjoying the ride. Now nearlyat One of the highlights of the ride, Aldwark Bridge. A wooden planked old bridge, free to cross by cyclists, rickety and clanks as you ride over.

Crossing that bridge was an odd feeling as the planks moved, groaned and creaked as you went over. Now on route past the RAF base and onto Newton On Ouse. Nothing notable here, lots of military style housing and a post office.

Then an unexpected route through the grounds of Benningborough Hall. A grand building, and lots of cattle in the fields. Truth be told I wasn’t expecting it as I passed through the ornate gate way. A nice steady cruise through the grounds, until I exited the grounds onto a single track road.

Really nice to be on a quiet single track, with some seriously tight corners to negotiate. Before Overton, after a lump where the road goes over the railway, and is exactly 200 miles to Edinburg.

Round some more serious bends in the road, and back under the railway by a short tunnel. We reach Overton. This is the last of the road riding. From just after Overton, we pick up the cycle path into York.

Finishing along the banks of the river into York on the cycle path, the only fright of the ride was when some kid ran out in front of me causing the back wheel to skid as I braked to avoid him.

View the full ride on my RideWithGPS account.

And don’t forget, you can donate on my JustGiving page.

Radar

I’ve used Garmins varia radar previously, but didn’t like that blocky look it had. However, you can’t knock the usefulness of the unit in giving you information on what’s happening behind you.

The new radar unit, is more elongated, and slimmer than the original, and to my eye my more pleasing.

In use, it’s great, it gives me an idea of traffic, long before I hear it, with clear and easy to read graphics on my head unit.

There’s not much more to say on the unit that hasn’t already been said, for a much more detailed and in-depth look, be sure to check out DC Rainmakers blog.

New Pedals

So, I’ve had a little upgrade from my Shimano R550 pedals, I’ve gone and installed a pair of Look Blades.

So, initial thoughts on them, is that they are easier to engage into than the Shimano, and oddly more comfortable. But unclipping is another matter. It’s not difficult to unclip, it’s just the range of motion is greater to actually unclip and it seems to throw the foot off, almost in disgust that your unclipping. Any hesitation, or having the cleat near seems to suck the cleat back into the mechanism.

With the Shimano, a kick to the side, and your foot was just on the pedal, ready to put down, but still be able drive forward if needed. Handy for those traffic slow down moments. The blades, a throw from the ankle sees your foot thrown, a more gentle twist, unclip then reclips the cleat.

But in truth, they are a great pedal, and it’ll be time before I’m used to their quirks, but they are on my bike to stay. I might however, fit the tighter blade, as the 12Nm that comes fitted as standard just doesn’t feel tight enough.

I’ve now been riding them for a few months, and occasionally get more clip in fails than I did with the shimano pedals. Wether this is down to lack of skill on my part or the pedal is however up for debate.

Knock Knock, Whose there?

A few days ago I had a knocking noise from the bike. Initially I thought it was the seat post worn, so I changed it for a spare I had kicking around. It seemed to stop for a few rides, but after I got back from my break in Scotland, and went out, it was back.

So i pulled out the seat post, re greased it and checked the torque on the saddle rails, checked the pedals and oiled the contact points. Next ride, nope knocking galore, especially on the hills.

OK, now its time to get serious. Loaded the bike up into the work stand and stripped the whole drive train down. I even removed and cleaned the chain rings. I removed the rear dérailleur and saw a movement in the hangar. It was loose. The two little screws that hold it onto the dropout had loosened, and given it a slight movement. This movement would cause it to knock on the frame when torque was applied. Could this of been the source? While this is obviously an issue, the rear wheel QR should of held this tight. But, of course it’s possible this was at fault.

However, the knocking and scraping resumed on the next ride. So, I thought back to changes I’d made. One of those changes was the seatpost. I’d installed a carbon seatpost, and out of pure laziness I’d greased it, rather than using gripper paste.

Removing the post, the grease had a “pooled” appearance. Cleaned the grease off, and cleaned the seat tube well. A good smearing of carbon paste, and refitted.

The next ride was better, but I did hear a couple of knocks/scraping but no where near as bad. It kind of sounded like chain sticking to the chain rings, and during the course of the ride, which was wet, it seemed to get better. Could of been the chain being sticky? Quite possibly as I may of over applied the squirt lube, and the rain cleared it off.

So a really good deep clean and a different lube applied. Let’s see what happens.