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.