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Wahoo upgrades the ELEMNT Roam with better navigation capabilities

The latest version of the large cycling computer features enhanced GPS capabilities and a higher quality display, along with several software updates.

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Three years on from releasing the ELEMENT ROAM, Wahoo is giving the large, navigation focused cycling computer an update, overhauling the hardware while expanding the software capabilities. 

Hardware updates for better navigation

With a 2.7” screen, the ELEMNT Roam’s large form factor gives it an advantage over Wahoo’s ELEMNT Bolt computer in displaying maps and routes. For the next generation Roam, Wahoo has enhanced those navigation capabilities in several ways.

First, the computer now features dual band GPS for greater accuracy, especially in areas where GPS devices are known to falter like forests or downtown skylines.

The Roam now has a higher quality 64-color display.

Second, the Roam now packs an even better display. The first Roam introduced color to Wahoo computers. The new version takes it a step forward with a 64-color, high-contrast display. That means charts and graphs in workout and data screens can be displayed in greater detail than before, fitting more information onto the screen. 

Also read: Wahoo adds Wi-Fi to KICKR trainer and KICKR BIKE

Some things have stayed the same. LEDs that display information at a glance based on color remain, as does an ambient light sensor. And rain storms won’t be an issue thanks to an IPX7 waterproof rating. The tactile feel of the Roam has changed however thanks to the introduction of convex buttons.

The Roam has graduated to a USB-C port for charging and data transfer (though it can load information wirelessly as well), bringing it in line with the Bolt and other modern electronics.

And because the Roam is about exploring, Wahoo has expanded the built-in memory to 32 gigabytes, allowing you to load more map packs, routes, and workouts.

Through all of these changes, Wahoo has managed to keep the weight the same. The Roam remains at 3.3 ounces (about 94 grams).

Software updates bring the Roam up to speed with Wahoo’s entire ecosystem

The ELEMNT Roam features a number of software enhancements. 

It syncs with a rider’s Wahoo X subscription, allowing them to access outdoor structured workouts, as well as a complete workout history of both indoor and outdoor rides through the SYSTM app. 

“The Wahoo X and ROAM integrated capabilities is another step forward in building the most innovative and connected ecosystem for cyclists and endurance athletes,” Said Wahoo CEO Mike Saturnia. 

A Wahoo X workout on the ELEMNT Roam.

Also read: Wahoo unveils sports science facility in Boulder

Like other Wahoo computers, the Roam can control the brand’s trainers and KICKR Bike and pairs with all other Wahoo devices like heart rate monitors. It can also seamlessly handoff to other Wahoo devices, a useful feature for triathletes transitioning between, say, swimming with the brand’s smart watch and riding a bike with a Roam. 

A new feature called Summit Segments takes advantage of the enhanced color display to show all upcoming climbs in a pre-loaded route, providing a new way of looking at an entire ride and gauging how hard to push to get a PR, or simply get to the end without cramping up. 

Battery life

When it comes to cycling computers, one of the most essential features is a lengthy battery life, especially for one targeted at adventuring and navigating like the Roam. Even with all the updates to the latest version, Wahoo hasn’t sacrificed any of the excellent battery life of the first generation, maintaining the same claimed 17-hour lifespan. 

Pricing

The Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt retails for $400, a slight increase over the first version’s $380 price tag.