Wahoo vs Garmin: Which Bike Computer Should You Choose?

Wahoo Elemnt and Garmin Edge bike computers are very popular and dominate the market, despite the increasing competition from brands like Hammerhead and Bryton.

When it comes to which bike computer you should choose from one of these brands, there are several things to consider. Garmin has a larger selection of products that cater to different riders’ needs and budgets, but Wahoo has many advantages including add-ons and a polished interface.

In this guide, we take you through the details and features that make Garmin and Wahoo head units some of the… The best bike computers And how to choose the right person for you.

Wahoo Elemnt and Garmin Edge Bands

Garmin 130 Plus (left) and 1030 Plus (right).
Jack Locke / Instant Media

Although it has been scaled down A group of Edge computers Recently, Garmin is still offering five different models. That starts with the compact and relatively inexpensive Edge 130 Plus. It has a monochrome screen and is controlled via five buttons on its sides and bottom edge.

Move up the range and Garmin Edge 530 It is larger and has a color screen, although it is still controlled by a button. The Edge 830 It is the same size as the Edge 530 but has a touch screen, while Edge Explore has a slightly larger touch screen. bigger shape Edge 1030 Plus Now obliterated by Garmin Edge 1040 at the top of the range.

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS bike computer.
Jack Locke / Instant Media

in contrast, Whoah Only 2 computers Elemnt offers: Element Bolt and the Element Room. Both are a non-touch, mid-size color PC and are controlled via a set of six buttons, three on the face and three on the sides of the computer body.

In addition to the display, Wahoo includes one set of LEDs on the Elemnt Bolt and two on the Elemnt Roam. It can be programmed to display various information, including your heart rate zone or information about upcoming turns if you’re following a route.

Battery life

The Garmin 1040 has solar charging.
Garmin

Garmin battery life depends on the model; The smallest Edge 130 Plus has a 12-hour runtime and extends up to 24 hours for the Edge 1030 Plus.

The latest Edge 1040 features solar charging – like Garmin Fenix ​​7 Sapphire Solar Smart Watch Increases battery life even more, with a seven-day runtime on a single charge for eight hours per day of daylight riding.

Wahoo computers fall somewhere in the middle, with the Elemnt Roam’s 17-hour battery life and the Elemnt Bolt’s 15-hour battery life.

How Much Do Garmin and Wahoo Computers Cost?

The Garmin Edge 530 costs £260.
Matthew Allen/Instant Media

Wahoo Elemnt computers closely track the £260/$300 Garmin Edge 530 and are comparable in size. The Elemnt Bolt is smaller and costs £265 / $300, and the Elemnt Roam is slightly larger and costs £300 / $380.

Garmin’s range includes a much wider range of prices, from the £170/$200 Edge 130 Plus up to the £630/$750 Edge 1040 in its solar-charged version.

Installation and add-ons

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt comes with an external mount.
Wahoo Fitness

Wahoo scores on its swatches for the Elemnt group. The computers come with a front stand with half turn participation. Although it’s plastic, the mounts integrate with the computers really cleanly, giving you a seamless, streamlined look. You can attach the computer to the stand for security and peace of mind if you ever leave your bike.

In contrast, Garmin computers come with a plastic half-turn top bar held by two rubber straps as standard. If you want an external install (because of its large size, it is quite necessary for Edge 1030 Plus and Edge 1040), you need to purchase it separately.

You can buy Garmin Edge and Wahoo Elemnt computers as a bundle. Depending on the model, this typically includes an HRM strap, speed and cadence sensors, and for Garmin MTB straps, a silicone case, MTB mount and remote control.

Garmin and Wahoo computers support ANT+ and BLE connectivity, while high-spec models from both brands have built-in WiFi, so you can upload trips to apps without having to link them to your smartphone.

Configuring Wahoo and Garmin . Computers

You can link Garmin and Wahoo bike computers to devices such as power meters.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Although Garmin has upped its game in setup and configuration, Wahoo still wins over tight integration with its smartphone app. This allows you to set up and customize pretty much everything via the app rather than the device itself, although that’s still an option.

Garmin catches up with easy phone-based setup and the ability to transfer your data from an older Garmin device. There is also a phone app control in some settings, but it’s not as easy as with the Wahoo app and you still need to use the on-device menus to customize many features.

Wahoo and Garmin . Features

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt comes with a base map.
Jack Locke / Instant Media

All but the entry-level Garmin 130 Plus, which only has a navigation path to follow, a map get with a base map, and Elemnt computers come with maps as well.

Wahoo’s base map is fairly basic and doesn’t include street names. Garmin maps are more colorful, include street names, highlight wooded areas, and other features. Garmin also gives you heatmaps to map the right routes for bikes to follow.

Garmin and Wahoo pack other features with items like climbing profiles, live tracking, radar support, and on-device drills. It also allows you to configure the data you see while riding. You’ll get more data fields per screen on the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus and 1040, but fewer on the Edge 130 Plus.

Garmin and Wahoo computers give you plenty of exercise stats via their mobile apps. Garmin Connect is particularly full-featured, giving you plenty of stats on training impact and other metrics, while the Wahoo app covers the basics.

You can link your Garmin and Wahoo bike computers to third-party apps like Komoot.
komot

In both cases, you can set up automatic synchronization through to StravaOr TrainingPeaks or other fitness apps if you want more analysis. You can also associate computers with komot for routes and to create a log of your activities.

with smart coach Range, Wahoo has good trainer control functionality, although Garmin matches that.

Which is better, Wahoo or Garmin?

Given its broader range, Garmin is the obvious choice if you’re looking for a bike computer or on a budget.

Most Garmin PCs are your best bet if you need a longer battery life, especially the latest Edge 1040. In the middle, it’s also the only option if you want a touch screen, although bear in mind that it can be difficult Use it in wet places, off-road or if you wear thick gloves.

For a device controlled by a button, the choice is more accurate. Wahoo’s hardware looks neater on the straps and includes an external mount – something you’ll have to pay for with Garmin. Added features like LED arrays and an easier smartphone interface, along with a less reflective screen that’s easier to read in the sun, will likely tip the scales in Wahoo’s favour, too.