Long Term Review of the Wahoo Elemnt GPS bike computer.


While I am far from the world's best cyclists, I have as much experience on a bike as anyone you can think of, and have always made it a point of staying abreast of the latest technology. I have always enjoyed keeping track of miles, average speeds, even power outputs, and when bike computers branched off as GPS devices capable of not only keeping track of where you had been, but also able to tell you where you were going, I became an advocate.

I started with the Lezyne Mini, which was perfectly adequate, though it could not navigate, and had was limited, for me, by battery life which barely exceeded 8 hours. I then bought a Wahoo Elemnt, which could download maps, and had, I was told, a longer battery life.

For the first six months or so, I was satisfied, though battery life was not the claimed 15 hours. The device recorded ride data accurately, and synced this data to a third party site (Strava), and also Ride With GPS (though it synced to this site twice). So to keep data accurate on Ride With GPS, I had to delete one sync. Not a big deal. I am not a huge fan of technology. It is still my belief that it is all a huge sales gimmick, and that none of it works quite as good as advertised. But then I am a skeptic.

Then, however, I noticed that my Elemnt began to not record data for any ride I did on a Sunday, though it would sync that data to Strava-I know weird. It also stopped synching twice to Ride With GPS, would sync once to both RWGPS, and Strava. However, my phone would now say that the "Sync Failed." Then when I got a new gravel bike, downloaded a local map to the Elemnt to follow, while data was recorded on the device, it did not sync data to either third party site.

Now anyone who uses either of these third party sites, knows that you can record data manually. But you also know that we hate to do that. It's like you just made up a ride. You know that when your data is synced, you are validated. This is so conclusive of your ride that it can even be used as evidence (and has been) in court. I am sad to admit that this kind of shit keeps me awake at night. it's like you did something but somebody took it, and made it disappear. It's like a Mandela effect, only in real time.

So being the responsible consumer that I am, I sent a message to Wahoo Support as follows:

I am an experienced cyclist who has used the Elemnt for almost two years. Over that time, while generally recording data accurately, a number of problems have developed including battery time, failure to record data on Sunday, difficulty connecting with my phone, failure to sync with Strava (at times), and recently a failure (consistently) to sync with Strava when using a downloaded map. Here is the exchange I got which included a very unsatisfactory response:

Brianna (Wahoo Fitness Support)

Jan 27, 4:26 PM EST

Hello Mike Sorry you're experiencing this issue. This is a known issue actively being addressed by our development team. Though we can not provide an exact delivery date at this time, a fix is on our roadmap for firmware and app updates in the near future. You can receive the fix, once released, by keeping your device and app up to date with the latest versions. For update news and details, please visit our website at https://support.wahoofitness.com Because your issue is being addressed by our developers, this customer service ticket will be marked resolved. Please feel free to contact us, however, with any additional questions. We apologize for this inconvenience. Thanks, Brianna

Mike

Jan 26, 12:01 AM EST

When I follow a downloaded route on my Elemnt, after the ride the data does not sync to Strava. I have been using this device for 1 1/2 years, but it has gotten to where I have to shut off my phone, after a ride, to load data from Elemnt to phone and on to strava. Something is out of whack.

This is unacceptable response to any customer-to fail to even attempt to address my problem is poor service, much less bad business. I should add that the only thing I have received from Wahoo since is a survey that only addresses how I use the device, not how satisfied I am with it. I am the administrator of a cycling website: cycling-mindfulness.com. I have considered doing a review, but feel that I am too angry at this point. I am also considering contacting the Better Business Administration. I would appreciate a response. Perhaps a cooler head could prevail. Sincerely, Mike.

Now, by their lack of concern for my plight, you can see that I am really pissed off. Seriously where do corporations get off selling a product that may not work as advertised, and then refuse to address it.

So despite my anger and frustration, I would still say I am reasonably satisfied with the day to day use of the Wahoo Elemnt GPS Computer. On the bike, it works as expected, is easy to move from page to page, easy to read, and accurate (there is no 100% accuracy). To this point I am happy with it. However, it is the after ride that I am not satisfied with. It really does not play well with others, and for that reason I cannot give it more than three stars out of a five star rating. Wahoo needs to do something to address this problem, and they need to do something to improve their support, perhaps contact Dutch Brothers Coffee in the US, and find out how they create such wonderful employees.

As an after thought, I received an e-mail from Wahoo this morning asking me to take a survey. When I did, I discovered that it addressed how I use the device only, and did not ask once if I was satisfied. I do not know who runs this company but I know that YOU need to do better.

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