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First Look: Wahoo Elemnt Roam

Wahoo's latest GPS now comes with a colour screen and far more extensive mapping capabilities than their other devices. We take a quick look at one that has just arrived in for testing...

They say Rome/Roam wasn’t built in a day… and once again it would appear that old adage is true, as two years on from the launch of Wahoo’s Elemnt Bolt, comes the Wahoo Elemnt Roam with smart navigational features and a colour screen (here all week). 

Wahoo launch the Elemnt Roam 
14 of the best cycling GPS units

It's Wahoo's first GPS with colour; although 'full' colour is stretching it a little, as you'll see in the video that the actual colour pallet on screen is a little limited.
The Roam places a much bigger emphasis on mapping, hence the name, and putting two and two together you can work out that the Roam is aimed more at off-road riding than their Elemnt, Elemnt Bolt and Elemnt Mini computers. It has all the features you'd find on the Bolt and Elemnt that road cyclists want but with the mapping included, so if you're a multi-discipline rider who wants one GPS to do the job for everything then the Roam should fit the bill. Wahoo themselves say it was developed to answer demand from riders who ever more frequently want a device that will help them to explore “less trafficked” areas. 

The Roam has a brand new patented mount, with the same twist-and-click motion on Wahoo's other devices but just sized specifically for the Roam. We measured it at 8.5cm long x 5.5cm wide, which interestingly is the same size as a standard business card.   

Pairing with Wahoo's revamped Elemnt phone app is quick and simple, and this allows you to customise data screens and alter settings really fast. When the computer boots up the little guy warming up on his Wahoo Kickr now has a blue jersey. 

Charging is via micro usb, and you control the unit with the very intuitive button interface. There are three across the bottom, two on the right side for scrolling up and down and one on the left for turning on and off or going back a page.

wahoo elemnt roam 2

Wahoo have added quite a few features that you’ll really find useful if you’re regularly riding in unfamiliar places or just want to explore without worrying about finding your way home. The new Smart Navigation includes the option to automatically reroute you on to a planned route when you go off course, create new routes on the go and there's a 'take me home' option. The 2.7” colour display should make the maps easy to follow, and the battery life is a claimed 17 hours with all the features running, more than enough for a full day's exploring and more. 

There's also an ambient light sensor that automatically turns the screen backlight on or off and adjusts screen brightness according to the light conditions, inside or out. Battery life is a claimed 17 hours with GPS and maps both running.  

 

Needless to say, we'll be reviewing the Elemnt Roam over the next few weeks with a full test report coming soon...

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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12 comments

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Yemble | 4 years ago
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Shame they still went with recessed buttons. Difficult to use with winter gloves. Fair weather cyclists at Wahoo Inc!

Avatar
Rapha Nadal replied to Yemble | 4 years ago
2 likes
Yemble wrote:

Shame they still went with recessed buttons. Difficult to use with winter gloves. Fair weather cyclists at Wahoo Inc!

The recessed buttons are super easy to use and regardless of what gloves you're wearing.

Avatar
Yemble replied to Rapha Nadal | 4 years ago
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Rapha Nadal wrote:

The recessed buttons are super easy to use and regardless of what gloves you're wearing.

I have a Bolt and these look the same.. so I highly doubt that.

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Htc replied to Yemble | 4 years ago
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Yemble wrote:
Rapha Nadal wrote:

The recessed buttons are super easy to use and regardless of what gloves you're wearing.

I have a Bolt and these look the same.. so I highly doubt that.

Yeah I have a Bolt and the buttons are super easy regardless of the gloves you’re wearing, much better than most of the ones on the lights I have too.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal replied to Htc | 4 years ago
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Htc wrote:
Yemble wrote:
Rapha Nadal wrote:

The recessed buttons are super easy to use and regardless of what gloves you're wearing.

I have a Bolt and these look the same.. so I highly doubt that.

Yeah I have a Bolt and the buttons are super easy regardless of the gloves you’re wearing, much better than most of the ones on the lights I have too.

Yup, couldn't agree more really.

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Fluffed | 4 years ago
0 likes

Massive review on DCR, TLDR : It's not very good for the money.

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Baga | 4 years ago
0 likes

Wondering how will it compare to the Edge 530/830. I am in a market.

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bigbiker101 replied to Baga | 4 years ago
0 likes
Baga wrote:

Wondering how will it compare to the Edge 530/830. I am in a market.

Check out DC Rainmakers reviews, if you want proper navigation that has turn by turn that always works with no cavates, or elevation data is important go for the Garmin, otherwise Roam is an option.

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martybsays | 4 years ago
8 likes

I don't know why everyone bangs on about some perceived problem with this being "not full-colour" or "only 8 colour".  It's a device to deliver infographics in a clear and efficient way - not for watching Netflix or looking at selfies. Separation between colours/shades is key with mapping. The designers  at Wahoo have their priorities right, once again. 

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rogermerriman replied to martybsays | 4 years ago
0 likes
martybsays wrote:

I don't know why everyone bangs on about some perceived problem with this being "not full-colour" or "only 8 colour".  It's a device to deliver infographics in a clear and efficient way - not for watching Netflix or looking at selfies. Separation between colours/shades is key with mapping. The designers  at Wahoo have their priorities right, once again. 

As others I’ve not had a chance to have a look at one, but looking at screen shots the maps though fine for road,  but once your off road be that MTB/gravel whatever then you want as much detail on the map, and colour is a big part of that.

 

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alansmurphy replied to martybsays | 4 years ago
0 likes
martybsays wrote:

I don't know why everyone bangs on about some perceived problem with this being "not full-colour" or "only 8 colour".  It's a device to deliver infographics in a clear and efficient way - not for watching Netflix or looking at selfies. Separation between colours/shades is key with mapping. The designers  at Wahoo have their priorities right, once again. 

 

To that end you dont really need more than 8 colours on your telly box, snooker only needs the 8. Why have more than 5 speeds on your bike?

 

Excuse the inferior product if you believe they have sacrificed it for something better or a cheaper price point, but they haven't...

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risoto | 4 years ago
0 likes

It's the first time I've a review target this for off-road use.  I don't see why. It must be a good device for touring, adventure riding etc. A need that has not been met by any manufacturer so far. No device has decent mapping but this might be the first that approach the navigation we are used to from cars. 

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