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Wahoo Elemnt Mini: £80 standalone wireless bike computer launched

Wahoo is making a serious bid for cycle computer market with new standalone wireless computer

Wahoo has set its sights firmly on the lucrative cycle computer market and has just launched its second device this year, the Elemnt Mini, a compact version of its original computer launched two years ago. It costs £80 and has a battery life of 12 months.

Unlike the original Element, the Elemnt Mini doesn’t utilise GPS. It can be used as a standalone computer and is supplied with a wireless Wahoo RPM Speed sensor to track your speed and distance without connecting it to a smartphone. That means impressive battery life, the coin cell battery is claimed to be good for 12 months.

Wahoo Elemnt Mini - unit.jpg

To unlock the full capability of the Elment Mini requires pairing it with the company’s own dedicated app. First launched in 2016, the partnership between computer and smartphone app has been a key feature of Wahoo’s desire to offer a streamlined user experience. The app lets you customise the various data screens and utilise the phones GPS to provide route recording.

When partnered with the app, you get extra functionality full GPS ride tracking, so you can see your route with elevation and ride statistics after the ride, and share to your favourite platforms like Strava or MapMyRide.

Wahoo Elemnt Mini - unti back.jpg

The app also unlocks many other features including like call and text notifications and Live Track, which gets expanded capability in the new Elemnt Mini enabling friends and family to monitor your current and travelled locations on a map in real-time. It works by sharing a special link that allows people to see your ride, including data from any paired sensors, on the Live Track website. Could be handy for any touring or adventure rides you might be about to embark on.

- 10 of the best cycling GPS units — ride data and bike satnav from as little as £35

Wahoo Elemnt Mini - unit side.jpg

The Elemnt Mini lives up to its name. It’s roughly the size of a Garmin Edge 500-series computer, weighs just 31g and has s simple two-button interface. The 1.8in LCD screen is grayscale with a high contrast making it easy to view in a range of lighting conditions. The Mini is IPX7 rated, waterproof up to 5ft. It comes with a simple stem or handlebar mount using its own quarter-turn design. 

The Elemnt Mini can be paired with ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors, including the company’s own RPM Speed Sensor, RPM Cadence Sensor and TICKR Heart Rate Monitor, all without pairing with the smartphone app.

“The new MINI is a key piece in the Wahoo Elemnt bike computer portfolio,” said Jose Mendez, Director of Product Management for Cycling Products at Wahoo Fitness. “Thanks to the Wahoo Elemnt Companion App we are bringing the powerful, yet simple Wahoo Fitness experience, to a whole new category of economy-minded cyclists while delivering much of the same data that our professional athletes demand.”

Wahoo arrived in the cycling market with its Kickr smart trainer and since then the company has gradually been expanding its range, including a concerted effort to become a credible alternative to the more popular options in the cycle computer market.

mini_wireless-left.jpg.pagespeed.ce_.JaOL1dW8ir.jpg

It first launched the RFLKT+ in 2014, and followed up with the Elemnt in 2015, a GPS computer that could be easily configured via a smartphone app, and with full compatibility with platforms like Strava and MapMyRide. It followed that up with the Elemnt Bolt earlier this year, the first computer designed to improve aerodynamics via a specially designed handlebar mount.

- Review: Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer

The launch of the Elemnt Mini comes hot on the heels of the Elemnt Bolt and it’s the price point that is going to be of a lot of interest to many cyclists that might not have considered a cycle computer, especially given the capability of modern smartphones.

- Review: Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS cycling computer

Priced at £79.99 and including a wireless speed sensor, it’s significantly more affordable than the £249 Elemnt or £200 Elemnt Bolt. It also undercuts the cheapest Garmin Edge 20 (£110) but while it doesn’t have the GPS of the Edge, considering most cyclists probably have a smartphone tucked away in their pocket, it does look like an appealing alternative. You can though get the Lezyne Mini GPS for £63 if you want GPS without paying a fortune.

We’ve got an Elemnt Mini in for a test and we’ll report back soon with some first impressions before we get enough riding done to provide a full review. More at http://uk.wahoofitness.com/

David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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13 comments

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aegisdesign | 6 years ago
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It's a pity they've not added navigational aids at this level. A simple left/right arrow and maybe a road name and 'in x metres' display driven from the smartphone's GPS and komoot mapping would be extremely useful for touring.

I don't need ant+, powermeters, cadence, heart rate or any of that crap but being able to keep the phone off the bars, safely tucked away in a bag would be useful. 

ie. a low power (e-ink?), always on, remote display for komoot. Go on. Somebody please make one.

Edit: The code for doing so is at https://github.com/komoot/BLEConnect btw

Avatar
alansmurphy replied to aegisdesign | 6 years ago
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aegisdesign wrote:

It's a pity they've not added navigational aids at this level. A simple left/right arrow and maybe a road name and 'in x metres' display driven from the smartphone's GPS and komoot mapping would be extremely useful for touring.

 

 

Yeah, or they could make it a bit more visual and show the roads, with an arrow and the distance, maybe in colour and with a slightly larger screen [/font=sarcasm]

Avatar
aegisdesign replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
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alansmurphy wrote:
aegisdesign wrote:

It's a pity they've not added navigational aids at this level. A simple left/right arrow and maybe a road name and 'in x metres' display driven from the smartphone's GPS and komoot mapping would be extremely useful for touring.

 

 

Yeah, or they could make it a bit more visual and show the roads, with an arrow and the distance, maybe in colour and with a slightly larger screen [/font=sarcasm]

Why? That would be worse and more expensive. [/font=answeringtofuckwits]

 

Avatar
simonmb replied to aegisdesign | 6 years ago
0 likes
aegisdesign wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:
aegisdesign wrote:

It's a pity they've not added navigational aids at this level. A simple left/right arrow and maybe a road name and 'in x metres' display driven from the smartphone's GPS and komoot mapping would be extremely useful for touring.

 

 

Yeah, or they could make it a bit more visual and show the roads, with an arrow and the distance, maybe in colour and with a slightly larger screen [/font=sarcasm]

Why? That would be worse and more expensive. [/font=answeringtofuckwits]

They could have done all of this - if they'd wanted to make a different product. It is what it is. Its beauty, and the success of it, is through its minimalism.

Avatar
kil0ran replied to aegisdesign | 6 years ago
0 likes
aegisdesign wrote:

It's a pity they've not added navigational aids at this level. A simple left/right arrow and maybe a road name and 'in x metres' display driven from the smartphone's GPS and komoot mapping would be extremely useful for touring.

I don't need ant+, powermeters, cadence, heart rate or any of that crap but being able to keep the phone off the bars, safely tucked away in a bag would be useful. 

ie. a low power (e-ink?), always on, remote display for komoot. Go on. Somebody please make one.

Edit: The code for doing so is at https://github.com/komoot/BLEConnect btw

They tried that with the RFLKT+ and supported RideWithGPS but it never worked reliably and RWGPS stopped supporting it. Element Bolt supports RWGPS & Komoot I think but ditto, I don't need all that expensive kit hanging off my bars.

Avatar
kevvjj | 6 years ago
1 like

Am I missing something here? Why not just use your phone? The Wahoo might have superb battery life but your phone battery is still the limiting factor isn't it?

Avatar
kil0ran replied to kevvjj | 6 years ago
0 likes
kevvjj wrote:

Am I missing something here? Why not just use your phone? The Wahoo might have superb battery life but your phone battery is still the limiting factor isn't it?

Think of it as a low power remote screen for your phone. So you can put that expensive, not necessarily waterproof device in a ziplock bag in your jersey pocket and still get ride data, notifications (yuck - I ride to get away from those), and remote buttons to stop/start your ride.

You'll get more battery life from your phone because you don't have that 5" display switched on all the time and you'll actually be able to see the screen in bright sunlight. GPS and sensor monitoring does not consume as much battery life as also running the screen - most smartphones you'll easily get an 8 or 9 hour ride with the screen off and maybe 2-3 with the screen on.

I've used Wahoo products since they were released - first the iPhone bike case which popped your iPhone 4 in a waterproof and armoured case direct on your bars and then the RFLKT+ paired with an Android smartphone. In 3 years riding with RFLKT+ I've changed the coin cell battery once I think and it has been pretty reliable. Its also *tiny* which is preferable to mounting your huge smartphone on your bars, lightweight, waterproof, easily pocketable for theft protection, and robust. I rarely need turn-by-turn navigation as most of my riding is local. Heading back across London at the weekend is probably the first time I could really have done with it but as it was it was easy enough to follow audio cues from Google Maps with the phone in my pocket.

Avatar
Christopher TR1 | 6 years ago
0 likes

Huh? No GPS =No Strava. What's the point of that then?!

Avatar
abrooks replied to Christopher TR1 | 6 years ago
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Christopher TR1 wrote:

Huh? No GPS =No Strava. What's the point of that then?!

Paired with a phone it can upload your ride to Strava.  It does say that in the article.  If you don't ride with a smartphone, it can't.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
0 likes

£80 for this is riduclous, other standalone units do the same thing and more for much, much less!

Avatar
kil0ran | 6 years ago
0 likes

Pleased to see this announced, it looks like a straight upgrade for the RFLKT+ with some added features. As I always ride with a phone all I really need is a screen and so the RFLKT+ has been perfect for my needs, dodgy buttons and occasional connection problems aside. If it sorts out the button issue I'll be in line for one.

Does it have a barometer and temperature sensor like the RFLKT+ does?

 

Edit: Aaargh, no altimeter  2 The one in the RFLKT+ was much more accurate than GPS-derived climb figures, and I guess this also means no more grade % estimates.

Avatar
Pub bike replied to kil0ran | 6 years ago
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kil0ran wrote:

Edit: Aaargh, no altimeter  2 The one in the RFLKT+ was much more accurate than GPS-derived climb figures, and I guess this also means no more grade % estimates.

 

Doesn't connect to power meters either.

Spec and comparisons can be found here http://uk.wahoofitness.com/devices/bike-computers

 

Avatar
skwarczek | 6 years ago
0 likes

Looking forward to the review of this. Had my eyes on the Element bolt for a while now, but if this does everything the bolt does, without GPS, it might just be worth a punt.

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