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Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs Garmin Edge 530: Does The Up to date BOLT Change The Image?


Earlier in 2021, I revealed a put up evaluating the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT, as was, with the Garmin Edge 530.

Then Wahoo went and launched a brand new model of the BOLT, with some fairly vital upgrades.

So that put up had a brief shelf life.

Now, having purchased the brand new model of the BOLT and given it going over, I wished to offer an up to date model of my ELEMNT BOLT vs Edge 530 comparability.

On this put up I’ll cowl:

  1. A QUICK abstract of the upgrades that Wahoo has utilized to the V2 ELEMNT BOLT;
  2. How these enhancements change the evaluation as we examine the options and efficiency of two gadgets; and
  3. Some up to date conclusions – in different phrases, now which one must you purchase?

Garmin Edge 530 vs ELEMNT BOLT V2

What has modified with the brand new up to date ELEMNT BOLT

I’ve accomplished an entire put up on this (Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V1 vs V2), however listed here are the headlines:

  • The brand new BOLT has a color show, the display is bigger and fewer reflective. Simply typically, the viewing expertise has improved.
  • The case is black and the gadget is barely bigger. The buttons on the entrance are flush moderately than indented.
  • The V2 BOLT has correct on-board mapping. It may, and does, re-route you should you go off target.
  • It has gone up barely in value. The brand new BOLT will set you again £265 or $299.
  • The charging port has switched from micro-USB to USB-C, which makes it faster to pump in your electrical energy juice.
  • The aero out entrance mount is barely longer so your outdated BOLT gained’t match on it. In all probability not all that related.

What has modified on the Edge 530?

Not like Wahoo, when Garmin launches a brand new gadget, it goes with the tried and examined method of … CHANGING THE NAME. Which helps all of us out.

The Edge 530 remains to be referred to as the Edge 530, which implies…. it’s the identical gadget as earlier than.

Really, that doesn’t inform the entire story.

Garmin has launched a few firmware updates since my unique video, together with the fairly vital improve to model 8.0.

This improved navigation by introducing new map themes which have higher visibility and distinction, including highlighting of common roads a la Strava heatmaps and including directional arrows to routes and programs.

A brand new ‘Sync Now’ menu merchandise was added to the Standing display, plus an entire raft of minor enhancements to varied options that I’d in all probability wrestle to note.

Oh yeah. The updates additionally elevated course routing pace however I’ve no method of measuring that.

So the query is, do the upgrades to the BOLT, offset by the rise in value over the outdated model and the delicate tweaks to the Edge 530 firmware, change our tremendously complicated Edge 530 vs BOLT evaluation?

Let’s begin with the world that has seen essentially the most vital improve on the V2 BOLT… the charging port.

(Not the charging port.)

The brand new model of the BOLT now matches the Edge 530 within the navigation and on-device routing stakes.

Beforehand the BOLT relied on breadcrumb navigation and was unable to re-route on the gadget.

Now, just like the Edge, should you take a improper activate the course you’re following, the BOLT will routinely re-route to get you again on observe.

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2 map

For those who add a route file that doesn’t include turn-by-turn instructions, resembling one from Strava, the BOLT will create its personal cue sheet and flash up flip alerts over the course of your journey.

With the V2 BOLT, the ‘Take me to…’ choice that was beforehand simply on the smartphone app has been replicated on the gadget.

Now, just like the Edge 530, you’ll be able to choose some extent on the BOLT’s mapping display and the gadget itself will calculate you a route. Additionally just like the 530, the BOLT can direct you to the the beginning of your route.

So, large image clever, the navigation options are very related. And as you may anticipate, they’re fairly related in use.

Each gadgets do certainly recognise whenever you’ve gone off target and each, after a couple of seconds, will give some kind of re-direction instruction.

Re-Routing When You Go Off Course

As you realize, this channel just isn’t one for exhaustive scientific testing. I preach primarily based on instinct and small pattern sizes.

My sense is that the Edge 530 tends to stay with the ‘Do a U-turn’ instruction, even whenever you’ve gone fairly far off target and there’s a smart choice for carrying on and assembly your course at a barely later level.

The BOLT appears faster to acknowledge the psychological maelstrom brought on by driving again the best way you got here.

Once more, my ‘feelz’ is that the Wahoo is extra more likely to give you new instructions that may hold you transferring ahead after which re-join your route a couple of kilometres down the street.

Each gadgets appear fairly fast on the precise calculation of the re-route – you’d hope so when the reply is ‘Do a U-turn’ – so not a lot to separate them there.

Maps

The map on the unique V1 BOLT was, in hindsight, fairly garbage. It was a small monochrome show populated by a load of gray strains.

The V2 BOLT clearly now has a color one. It’s nonetheless fairly simplistic although. It doesn’t appear to indicate street names. The Edge 530 maps are extra detailed. They do label street names and different locations.

The Edge’s v8 firmware replace (June 2021) introduced two new map themes. Along with the Basic map color scheme (that everyone knows and lover?!?), we now have Excessive Distinction

[Danger danger, high contrast]

… and Mountain Biking.

Garmin Edge 530 map screen

Excessive distinction replaces many of the shades of inexperienced and gray that depict fields, woodland and constructed up areas with a predominantly white background.

As in most areas when evaluating the BOLT with Edge 530, the latter offers extra means to tweak your map settings.

In addition to selecting the map theme, you’ll be able to change for historical past line color, whether or not to show contours, whether or not to indicate the recognition map (primarily based on Garmin’s journey site visitors knowledge – like Strava Heatmaps).

With the ELEMNT BOLT, you get what you’re given. Which, to be truthful, is an attractively clear, easy-to-understand map, with enough element for my wants.

Your private color philosophy could require your journey monitoring line to be a darkish inexperienced or yellow. Me, offering I can see it, I couldn’t give a ph…

As you’ll be able to maybe infer, for me, the BOLT V2 has overtaken the Edge 530 within the navigation stakes, at the least from a street biking perspective.

I do know early items of the brand new BOLT have been reported to have technical points, possibly brought on by mapping knowledge in cities. My gadget hasn’t had any issues, not least as a result of I reside within the countryside.

I do have a slight question as as to whether the BOLT’s GPS is ‘barely off to the facet’ by way of positioning. There’s one explicit Strava Stay Phase which doesn’t kick in on the BOLT as a result of I miss the beginning level, but it surely triggers on the Edge 530. It appears I miss it by about 10 yards.

However this might simply as simply be the beginning place of the Strava phase itself. All BOLT-recorded rides on Strava look correct, actually for my wants.

By way of distinction, it’s not a lot the underlying navigation ‘engine’ (stated the non-software engineer) driving both gadget, however how they translate that into the consumer expertise.

And right here the BOLT wins.

It’s extra intuitive to make use of, significantly whenever you’re concurrently making an attempt to journey the bike.

From the map display, the labeled buttons on the entrance of the BOLT establish rapidly learn how to get to the cue sheet. It’s simpler to zoom out and in and transfer across the map.

Upcoming flip course alerts on the BOLT, which flash up a couple of hundred metres upfront, are clearly alerts. The Edge ones can look much like the map display itself, inflicting confusion till you realise you have to clear them with a purpose to get again to the standard knowledge screens.

There’ll little question be professional Edge customers rolling their eyes as a result of all of those options will be tweaked to swimsuit my preferences (I don’t know). My level is that the BOLT is simple and intuitive proper out of the field. It is smart rapidly to the non-expert consumer.

Show & Readability

I discussed already that the brand new ELEMNT BOLT has a color show. It now matches the Edge 530. The BOLT has 64 colors.

I’m undecided Garmin states what number of colors there are on the Edge 530.

Regardless of the Wahoo now having color, the 530 nonetheless appears to make extra use of them. Wahoo’s color deployment (which might be not the time period) is kind of delicate and restrained.

No matter Wahoo is doing, it really works for me.

I all the time used to seek out the unique BOLT extra readable than the Edge 530. Though it had a monochrome show, textual content and numbers appeared sharper than the color Garmin.

While you diminished the variety of fields on the BOLT knowledge display to at least one or two, the font dimension elevated significantly.

The brand new V2 BOLT is even higher. White backgrounds are actually correctly white moderately gentle gray. Distinction is great.

The display on the BOLT is matte moderately than shiny, so brilliant daylight doesn’t trigger reflections that inhibit your view. It has retained the flexibility to indicate a small variety of knowledge fields in a big font.

In comparison with the BOLT, I discover the show on the Edge 530 to be a bit blurry. The textual content is much less outlined. Garmintext all the time appears to stay comparatively small, nevertheless many fields you present.

Speaking of brightness, the V2 BOLT now has an ambient gentle sensor, so it can react routinely to the sunshine situations you’re driving in. This now matches the Edge 530, which all the time had a sensor.

As a considerably non-interesting apart, neither the Edge 530 nor the ELEMNT BOLT is as brilliant because the Phases Sprint M50.

Garmin Edge 530 vs ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs Stages Dash M50 handlebars

To sum up on the display and show entrance, I don’t suppose the Edge 530 is unhealthy, per se (pig). The brand new BOLT is simply higher.

Usability

On gadget operability remains to be extra easy on the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT. Partly, maybe all-y, it is because there are fewer issues you are able to do on the gadget.

For the options that the BOLT does have, a whole lot of the tweaking, choosing and importing is completed through the Wahoo ELEMNT smartphone app. The stuff that may be managed on the gadget itself is proscribed, making menus cleaner and the BOLT typically extra intuitive.

I’ve additionally all the time been a fan of the three buttons on the entrance of the BOLT, beneath the display. These have been retained on the V2, albeit they’re not indented. They’re nice to press (should you can have an emotional response to working a button). Extra importantly, they permit for labels to look subsequent to them, explaining what they do on any given web page.

With the Edge 530, the buttons are on either side and the entrance, er, Edge. You must keep in mind what each does. I’ve misplaced rely of the variety of instances I’ve pressed the Again button (backside proper button) after I meant to press Enter (high proper button).

When driving, I typically discover myself squeezing the Edge with a purpose to press a button on one facet and unintentionally urgent the one on the other facet.

For all that, given how a lot you are able to do with the Edge 530, the onboard consumer interface isn’t unhealthy. The varied choices are unfold round a lot of smart menus. Various settings and options will be accessed from a fast begin model menu on the house display.

The Edge 530 simply takes extra getting used to and a bit extra work to seek out issues. If you are able to do one thing on the ELEMNT BOLT, you’ll work out learn how to do it rapidly and intuitively.

Options! Options! Options!

The unique ELEMNT BOLT had fewer options than the Edge 530. The brand new V2 BOLT nonetheless has fewer options.

The revamp to V2 seems extra targeted on {hardware} enhancements, and no matter software program adjustments that resulted (e.g. including on-board navigation), moderately than including extra particular person options.

The Edge 530 has extra stuff constructed into it: Climbpro, a broader swath of coaching and efficiency metrics, numerous mountain bike particular metrics, to call however a couple of.

Garmin Edge 530 ClimbPro

You will get, and I’ve bought, very excited studying about all of the flashy whizzbangery on the Garmin web site.

BUT, on a daily foundation, my utilization is proscribed to a smaller variety of options, most of that are additionally current on the ELEMNT BOLT.

While the bike alarm function, which kind of acts like a automotive alarm while your steed is parked outdoors a favorite espresso cease, sounds cool, I’ve by no means discovered trigger to make use of it. Your bike safety mileage could fluctuate.

The exception that proves my decidedly obscure rule, is Garmin’s ClimbPro function.

ClimbPro identifies every climb in your route and offers a colour-coded gradient chart. Very useful, if like me, you spend most of a given climb questioning when it can end (and hoping it is going to be quickly).

The BOLT does observe progress in your route elevation chart, and you may zoom in, but it surely’s not as clear precisely how a lot ache you’ve bought left on a climb.

Mountain Biking

I may also see, should you swing to the mountain bike darkish facet, that Edge 530 could attraction over the BOLT.

Along with containing higher path maps (I believe… do your individual analysis on this), the Edge 530 tracks numerous MTB metrics, resembling circulate, grit and air time.

My plan (whisper it) is to do extra mountain biking over the approaching 12 months. I’ll actually be monitoring circulate and maximising air time. I’ll report again in. Within the meantime, I’ll simply notice that the Edge 530 might be a greater gadget in case you are extra mountain biker than street bicycle owner.

So, to conclude this part, by way of function set, the Edge 530 positively wins over the ELEMNT BOLT. Merely put, the Edge 530 has extra of them, significantly in case your velo pursuits prolong past street biking.

I’ll go away it to you to determine what number of options you really need (trace: it’s in all probability not all of them).

Security and Safety

The Edge 530 is best than the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT by way of security and security-related options.

The aforementioned Bike Alarm will sound an alarm and ship a cellphone notification in case your bike is moved. Sadly it doesn’t act as an immobiliser like your automotive. For this you want a … bike lock.

There’s no equal alarm function on the BOLT.

Stay Monitoring, which in addition to being of profound health efficiency curiosity (I’m certain) to my dot-watching spouse is a safety-cum-logistics function, is widespread to each the Edge 530 and the BOLT.

In each instances, whenever you provide them with a hyperlink, VERY INTERESTED members of the family (or anybody with a passing curiosity) can observe your progress on a map.

Edge 530 vs Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2 bike GPS

Garmin shades it by way of incident detection. That is constructed into the Edge 530. Through some software program plus movement sensing plus algorithms (?) wizardry, the gadget will decide should you’ve had a crash.

After providing you with a couple of moments to cancel (for a false alarm), the Edge 530 will ship a textual content message and e-mail to your emergency contacts (supplied the Edge is linked to your cellphone).

You may as well ship the request for emergency help manually as effectively.

While Wahoo has the same function, it depends on you having a separate particular Specialised ANGi sensor (usually connected to your helmet).

So to realize with the ELEMNT BOLT what the Edge 530 does out of the field, you’d have to pay for a particular sensor in addition to (I believe) an annual subscription to maintain the ANGi working.

Coaching

After we speak coaching options, there’s a very actual danger that I rapidly recover from my skis. My coaching model is, how-you-say, ‘intuitive’.

I primarily simply journey about. Typically there are hills.

So my comparability of the Edge 530 and the V2 ELEMNT BOLT on this enviornment is considerably hypothetical.

From what I can see, I’d be proud of each of them. As soon as once more, the gadgets cut up throughout the identical philosophical divide: Garmin goes for many options and complexity; Wahoo retains it considerably easy.

You may add structured exercises to each the ELEMNT BOLT and the Edge 530. There are a couple of constructed into Wahoo Health app, plus you’ll be able to sync from third occasion apps. Garmin Join may also join with third occasion coaching platforms.

If you wish to construct your individual structured exercises for the BOLT, I suppose you have to have an account with one in every of these apps (resembling TrainingPeaks). The free plans could also be sufficient for you. In any other case you’re paying to subscribe. For the Edge 530 you’ll be able to create them instantly in Garmin Join, which is certainly free.

The flexibility to add and comply with structured exercises is about it for the ELEMNT BOLT, by way of particular coaching options (and it’d effectively be sufficient for most folk).

On the opposite handlebar, you’ll be able to lose weeks of your life studying about all of the coaching and efficiency options inbuilt to the Edge 530.

The Edge will observe issues like coaching load and VO2 max over time, estimate restoration time wanted after a journey and use exercise historical past and efficiency knowledge to evaluate whether or not you’re coaching productively.

When you have different appropriate Garmin health gadgets, resembling a watch, you’ll be able to sync these metrics in order that an exercise recorded by any of them updates all of them.

That’s earlier than we speak about among the efficiency metrics screens, resembling Biking Dynamics, and the reminders to eat, drink and be merry.

Among the equal knowledge to Biking Dynamics will be proven on the BOLT knowledge pages (e.g. left/proper stability for these with the pedal energy meters).

Finally, if it’s most coaching whir-clangery you’re after, the Edge 530 is the gadget to go along with.

Charging Port

Lastly we get on to charging port!

The V2 model of the ELEMNT BOLT actually set the facility cable cat amongst the GPS gadget pigeons. If we conveniently ignore the Hammerhead Karoo 2.

The brand new BOLT has a extra trendy and quicker charging USB-C port, the place the Edge 530 sticks with the outdated fuddy duddy micro-USB aperture.

For me, in sensible phrases, it hasn’t made a whole lot of distinction.

I are inclined to hold charging GPS gadgets on a reasonably frequent foundation, so I don’t typically discover that I’m low on juice forward of a journey (effectively, aside from in my legs and physique battery).

BUT. In case you are somebody that lives and rides near the sting (of a low battery), the important thing attraction of USB-C is that it’s going to cost the V2 BOLT to a significant cost stage extra rapidly. For the electrical energy boffins, I believe the BOLT can take 5A of present, versus one thing like 1-1.5A on the Edge 530.

USB-C is certainly the extra trendy charging port commonplace (and presumably is the best way Garmin will go sooner or later). For those who’ve solely bought quarter-hour to cost a tool, you’ll get extra minutes of journey monitoring into a brand new BOLT than the Edge 530 (all else being equal).

Battery Life

Wahoo states as much as 15 hours for V2 BOLT… which is precisely what it said for the unique V1 BOLT.

You may cost it while driving through a transportable USB charger, though Wahoo doesn’t supply a neat, front-mountable cost just like the Garmin, er, Cost.

For the Edge 530, Garmin specifies as much as 20 hours of battery life.

So there isn’t a change within the Edge 530 vs ELEMNT BOLT evaluation following the improve of the latter.

My journey lengths don’t hassle the battery capacities of both, even when I go away it a couple of periods between charging. Recharging gadgets has develop into fairly recurring for most individuals.

For those who’re an ultra-endurance rider, the Edge 530 plus the Garmin Cost energy pack might be a neater general answer. In any other case it’s just about a wash.

How Does The New V2 Change The ELEMNT BOLT vs Edge 530 Shopping for Determination?

Ooh, good query (that you just’ve in all probability had while studying this complete put up).

As a part of this, we have to speak about value.

Within the interval BV2 (earlier than V2…), there was a noticeable value distinction between the Edge and the BOLT.

The latter was cheaper, reflecting (I believe) extra the monochrome scheme and lack of true navigation, moderately than the general diminished function set.

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2 in my hand

The BOLT now retails for £265/$299. The Edge 530 is often £260/$299 (albeit I can see it’s on sale within the UK).

They’re nearly as good as the identical value.

For those who favored the BOLT earlier than (as I did), I believe you’ll actually just like the BOLT V2 (as I do).

I don’t suppose you’ll really feel short-changed paying the upper value. You now have full navigation and a very good color display to recompense you to your further moolah spent.

The justification for selecting the V2 BOLT over the Edge 530 on the similar value is that you just’re paying for the cleaner, extra streamlined consumer interface.

For those who have been a rider that wanted (or wished) navigation and a color display, and went for the Edge 530 regardless of by no means being probably to make use of all of its options, the BOLT now turns into the higher alternative.

In case you are firmly ensconced within the Garmin ecosystem, loves enjoying round with all of the technical element or is a eager mountain biker in addition to street bicycle owner, or the entire above, then the arrival of the BOLT V2 shouldn’t divert you from going with the Edge 530.

Oh, and should you actually favored the big font dimension on the unique BOLT then you definitely’ll additionally actually prefer it on the V2.

With that I’m away. I hope you discovered this put up useful. Shopping for hyperlinks and all that kaboodle beneath.

Laters!

Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic street bicycle owner with solely reasonable expertise. He began Sportive Bike owner in 2013 to report the journey to his first 100 mile journey, the RideLondon 100. Over time the weblog has expanded to incorporate coaching recommendation, gear evaluations and street biking tales, all from the attitude of a not-very-fit MAMIL. Because you’re right here, Monty would additionally such as you to take a look at his YouTube channel. Additionally, Monty actually must cease referring to himself within the third particular person.

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