• This topic has 17 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 8 months ago by Bez.
Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Garmin Explore or Wahoo Elemnt Bolt?
  • Premier Icon Frankenstein
    Free Member

    Which one would you get?

    Premier Icon k1100t
    Free Member

    Garmin Edge 820 GPS Bike Computer Bundle
    £199.00
    RRP £389.99 Save £190.99 (49%)

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Love my Elemnt Bolt. Use it all the time for recording rides and following gpx routes.

    Only thing that gets me is inability to pan the screen when you want to see to the side a bit. Zooming out you lose detail.

    Brilliant otherwise.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Full Member

    If you’re looking at the Edge Explore and aren’t bothered about the bundle, I’d get the newer model.

    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/cycling-technology/cycle-computers-gps/garmin-edge-explore-cycling-computer

    I have the Edge 820 Explore and will probably replace it with the above (I’ve cracked the screen on mine).

    Premier Icon Bez
    Full Member

    I replaced my Bolt with the Explore.

    They both have their pros and cons:
    – Bolt connects to RideWithGPS etc better (Explore works but needs a third party application as a shim, which works but can be a little quirky)
    – Explore has better navigation functionality (on road, at least; I don’t really use them off-road) and doesn’t require cues from third party apps
    – Explore can cope with going off-route, Bolt can’t (both in terms of actively guiding you, and being able to see alternative routes on the map)
    – Bolt screen is super clear in bright sunlight (though the Explore is much better than earlier Garmins)
    – Bolt has really clear mapping, Garmin maps have lots of redundant visual content that can make roads/trails harder to see
    – Garmin can take customised maps (if you can find/build them), Roam can’t
    – Bolt map is useless when you zoom out even a bit, though (the Roam is much better here)
    – Bolt battery life is better than Explore in normal mode, but the Explore in battery saver mode matches it (but battery saver mode has bugs); but both can be charged while riding so even a small cigar-shaped battery under the stem should easily triple your runtime
    – Both of them have buggy smartphone apps IME
    – Explore has fantastic touchscreen that works really well, also a larger display
    – Bolt is smaller, Explore is bigger

    In short I’d say if you want simplicity then you probably want the Bolt, but I’m a little obsessive about good on-road navigation and the Explore works much better for me. I think it’s far and away the best Edge unit Garmin have made in terms of value for money.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    The missus has an Explore and likes it. I have an Elemnt and would saw my head off rather than expose myself to the Garmin software / UI horror show again. As Bez says above, the Wahoo computers are straightforward to use and do the basics well, the Explore has more flexibility and potential for on the fly nav and a choice of mapping, but you have to work for it a little harder.

    It probably comes down to what you want to do with it. I mostly just create and follow GPX routes and record the track for Strava, so I’m not that bothered about changing routing in mid ride, though it would occasionally be useful – I resort to my phone mapping apps if that happens – and the Elemnt does all that in a neat, unfussy way ime. If you want to change your route mid-ride or hit a ‘return to base’ type button and have the computer route you back home, the Explore will do that with the proviso that it’s (in my experience anyway) less intuitive to use.

    I get that people get used to Garmins. The thing that always strikes me is that if you don’t use a Garmin computer or watch for a few weeks, coming back to it is just like starting all over again. The UI just doesn’t seem to do things in a logical / intuitive way.

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    I’m in the same boat as bwd….no way I am ever going back to Garmin software if I can help it…

    I replaced my Edge500 with a Bolt & it was a revelation. Much easier to use & way more reliable. I would have thought the Bolt Roam was close to the Garmin Explore.

    Last year I stupidly broke my ‘no more Garmin’ rule and bought a Forerunner235. Immediately, my phone which had never crashed before (as in, a complete re-boot of the phone) started randomly re-booting several times a week. Unsurprisingly, removing Garmin Connect solved this, but then I had no way to get data from my watch to Garmin Connect. I thought maybe it was because my phone isn’t a popular model making compatibility a bit iffy, so have installed Garmin Connect on my Wife’s tablet, which is a Samsung. While this doesn’t regularly crash, the bluetooth connectivity is sporadic at best. Trying to pair it, generally requires multiple closing of apps & connection attempts. I normally end up having to turn the watch off & back on again, which gets it to connect.

    Maybe I am just unlucky with Garmin stuff – a couple of people in my office also have Garmin watches & reckon they don’t have any issues.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Bolt. Does all the simple stuff I need reliably

    Premier Icon kneed
    Full Member

    I have an Explore and really liked it. I liked having trailforks on it. Only stopped using it as it doesnt support a power meter. I should get round to selling it (genuine exc cond) if you want to go down that route.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    I had endless trouble with my Edge Touring, but the new Edge Explore is a million times better. It really works, and well. Sure, Garmin software can be poor but you don’t need to use it. The app on my phone occasionally fails to sync automatically, but all I have to do is open the app and it syncs. Then I never have to touch anything by Garmin except the device as it syncs with Strava automatically. I use Strava to create routes, with the aid of the heat map; then I just load them up them directly on the device using the IQ Strava capability.

    I may be wrong, but it doesn’t look like you can zoom out and pan the map when you are navigating on a Wahoo? Can you plot routes on the fly with the device?

    Garmin maps have lots of redundant visual content that can make roads/trails harder to see

    That’s configurable, I think – you can change map detail in the settings.

    Premier Icon escrs
    Free Member

    Had a Garmin Edge 800, Edge 820 Explore and now have an Edge Explore

    The Edge Explore has been the best of the lot, its been faultless since i bought which was just after it was launched

    If you go Garmin then look at TalkyToaster maps, he makes a free version for the UK and also makes a 1:50 look and feel map for greater detail, costs around £11 along with maps for Europe and the rest of the world if you ever need them

    Home

    Premier Icon Frankenstein
    Free Member

    Can I just say a big thanks to everyone.

    I have now ordered the standard Bolt and the Edge on my desk. I can return one of them.

    I will them both a try and see which one to keep. I tend to use my old Edge 25 for short rides while using Map my Ride on my iPhone 11 Pro Max. While the iPhone is handy with Map my ride, it leaves it with 20% battery and wearing it out fast no doubt.

    Right I’ll report back but thanks again.

    Premier Icon murdooverthehill
    Free Member

    If keeping track of height gain is important to you it’s worth bearing in mind that the Edge Explore doesn’t have a barometric sensor, it relies on GPS signal only.

    Premier Icon geomickb
    Free Member

    Keep us updated please.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Full Member

    That’s configurable, I think – you can change map detail in the settings.

    There are various options for adjusting detail, although some of them you can’t turn off.

    But none address the fundamental approach of the map, which makes minor roads quite subtle and irrelevant details such as areas of woodland really bold and prominent. There are plenty of places near me where minor roads follow the edges of woodland and as a result they’re basically invisible, at least while riding.

    I’ve built some much more minimalist maps with clearer roads, I’ll see if I can upload some screenshots later.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    – Both of them have buggy smartphone apps IME

    Difference being that Wahoo develop their software with regular updates

    Sure, Garmin software can be poor but you don’t need to use it.

    You do on the device and their support is atrocious once your model is ostensibly replaced that’s it no more updates ever. Even if the device has a bug that is well documented, tough matey.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    Sure, Garmin software can be poor but you don’t need to use it.

    You do on the device

    On this particular device it’s pretty good – I’ve had no issues and there is only one small bug that irritates me. But given what the device does for me I’m prepared to put up with it.

    The bug relates to the auto-zoom feature. On my old device you could zoom out with North up, and it would zoom in and put your direction of travel up when you come to a junction, then zoom back out again. The new device – it displays the zoomed in map this if you are not on the map screen at the time of the prompt; however if you are already on the map it doesn’t switch to direction of travel up, and it doesn’t zoom back out when you pass the junction. I just leave it zoomed in, it’s fine – but I used to like having the north-up overview when I’m not at a junction.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Full Member

    Difference being that Wahoo develop their software with regular updates

    I tried another Wahoo a year after ditching my first one and it still had the same issues and shortcomings. One of which (a bug in the smartphone app rather than the device firmware, though at least one device firmware bug reared its head in the same mess) completely prevented me getting any routes on the device, which made it useless.

    Don’t get me wrong, the quality of Garmin’s firmware updates sucks. But my personal experience (YMMV) of Wahoo’s isn’t any better. In they end they flipped me off with a passive-aggressive response to my bug report, so I wasn’t massively enamoured with their customer service either. Murray posts some really helpful stuff in the comment threads on DCR’s site but beyond that I’ve not encountered anything to shout about.

    Like I say, YMMV. Just my experience.

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