Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V1 vs V2: What Has Modified (And Which Is Higher)?



Wahoo has launched a brand new model of the ELEMNT BOLT, its small-but-mighty GPS bike laptop.

Unhelpfully for search engines like google and customers alike, Wahoo has uncared for to provide it a special identify. The brand new system has merely changed the previous one on Wahoo’s web site (Wah-bsite). Nearly as if the primary model by no means existed in any respect…

[Mont gazes wistfully into the distance…]

Extra illustrious bike tech reviewers than I appear to have christened the 2021 model of the BOLT because the V2, so I’ll go together with that.

Anyway, in fairly an thrilling transfer (for me), I sprang into motion on launch day and purchased the brand new system (the V2…). It got here just a few days later and I’ve been utilizing it for many of my rides since.

So right here is my comparability of the brand new V2 BOLT with my a lot beloved authentic one (which I purchased in 2017 and used virtually completely till I went GPS set off completely happy in the direction of the again finish of 2020).

On this submit, you’ll study (get a barely-credible ‘sizzling take’ on):

  1. The important thing variations (and similarities) between the 2 units
  2. If the V2 is best than the V1 BOLT
  3. Whether or not it’s best to improve

So let’s get into the main adjustments.

The V2 BOLT Has A Color Display

The BOLT has joined the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM and the vast majority of the Garmin Edge line up in that includes a color display screen, versus the previous, er, gray and lightweight gray one.

Now I have to admit fairly just like the reverse coolness of getting a monochrome-screened bike laptop. Actual males neither eat quiche nor want a color show.

Nonetheless, like lots of my opinions, this proved to be constructed on shaky foundations, and with the brand new BOLT I’ve modified my thoughts.

It’s not like Wahoo have gone full psychedelic, rainbow unicorn. The textual content remains to be black fairly than Elephant Fart.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 colour screen

However for the palette stat followers, the brand new BOLT display screen options 64 colors. Which is much more than the 8 on the ELEMNT ROAM (56 extra…).

The extra colors are used sparingly within the up to date UI design, and total enhance the expertise.

The color maps are extra detailed and simpler to grasp than the unique BOLT monochrome ones.

Colors are used because the background for information fields like coronary heart fee and energy to indicate what zone you might be in. Assuming you’ve set them up appropriately (utilizing the Wahoo ELEMNT companion app in your smartphone), the altering colors make it straightforward to work out which zone you’re in versus making an attempt to work it out primarily based solely on present coronary heart fee (or energy).

Alongside the monochrome-to-colour display screen improve, the opposite BIG CHANGE () between the previous and the brand new model of the BOLT is the introduction of full on-board navigation.

While the V1 BOLT had routes and turn-by-turn instructions, it did this through the ‘breadcrumb’ method.

Having uploaded a path to the system, created on the Wahoo ELEMNT smartphone app or synced from Strava or RideWithGPS, mentioned route was primarily a sequence of GPS waypoints overlaid onto a map (with traces, or fairly chevrons, drawn between them).

The previous BOLT didn’t know what highway you have been on. It had no idea of roads (poor chap). When you went astray, while you’d get an alert and the LEDs would flash purple, it couldn’t re-direct you or re-route.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 navigation

The brand new V2 BOLT (just like the bigger ELEMNT ROAM – see my comparability of the 2 units) has ‘correct’ navigation.

The V2 works like your smartphone, automotive GPS, your mind with an Ordinance Survey map. When you take a improper flip, or are compelled to deviate out of your route, the V2 BOLT will re-calculate and plot a brand new course to get you again on observe.

And my preliminary testing suggests the brand new V2 BOLT is best at this re-routing malarkey than competitor units from Garmin and Bryton. The BOLT is fast to establish whenever you’re off-course, and equally speedy to work out a smart different.

And ‘smart’ is a key distinction. My Garmin Edge 530 and 830 each appear to make liberal use of the ‘Do a U-turn’ instruction (which isn’t useful).

Early days (a full comparability of the V2 BOLT with the Edge 530 and 830 will comply with) however to this point I’m getting good vibes in my loins. Additionally the BOLT appears good at navigation (brrp).

Case Redesign

The aesthetic adjustments are considerably refined however price speaking about.

(For a semi-serious highway bike owner like your good self, aesthetic adjustments are ALWAYS price speaking about…)

The display screen on the V2 BOLT is now flush with the highest of the system, fairly than being inset barely with small bevels.

The outcome: the newer model appears extra trendy and smooth.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 case design

The V2 is all black the place my authentic V1 BOLT was a darkish gray.

I do know Wahoo did begin to launch ‘stealth’ variations of the primary BOLT, however both manner, the brand new color scheme (is ‘black’ a color scheme?) makes for a really good wanting system.

I likes it.


The buttons are all in the identical place as the unique BOLT, however the three rubberised ones on the entrance at the moment are flat in keeping with the display screen, fairly than being barely depressed.

Dangerous information in the event you like the additional water storage capability on wet rides. Higher information in the event you struggled with the previous button format.

I have to admit I didn’t battle with the previous format. In reality, I actually preferred how the depressions guided my finger in, so to talk. So it stays to be seen whether or not this constitutes an enchancment.


The row of LEDs above the display screen on my authentic v1 BOLT are very shiny. Each is picked out with a person translucent oval of plastic.

For the v2 BOLT, the observe of LEDs sit behind the one flush high of the system, with little home windows to permit the LEDs to shine via.

The online impact is that the LEDs on the v2 usually are not as shiny and look somewhat blurred across the edges. While they do the identical job as on the v1, they don’t look as sharp.

It’s somewhat factor, and doesn’t materially influence efficiency, however you got here right here for the little issues, proper?

Charging Port

What the fug is that this? None of my charging cables match. The value of progress.

In a (not very) radical departure, Wahoo has fitted the brand new V2 BOLT with a USB-C charging port.

The previous BOLT, plus just about each different bike GPS (Garmins, Brytons, Levels), had a micro-USB port.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 charging port

The USB-C makes for sooner charging. When you realise shortly earlier than a trip that the V2 BOLT is low on battery, the upper amperage of the USB-C connection means you stand a preventing likelihood of getting sufficient cost into it earlier than you clip in and head out.

After all I jest about charging cables not becoming. You clearly get a USB-C cable with the V2 BOLT.

Outdoors of bikeGPSland (I enterprise there sometimes), USB-C chargerage is used extensively (my GoPro digital camera, my son’s Samsung telephone, my daughter’s Kindle Hearth).

Web web, I mark this one down within the column titled ‘Good Issues’.

Dimension and Weight

I’m considerably amazed I’ve received this far with out mentioning that the brand new V2 BOLT is barely bigger and heavier than the unique one.

Maybe that’s as a result of the variations are so minimal that they don’t even set off my ordinary anti-weight weenie rant (i.e the ‘do away with that roll of midriff cushioning earlier than speaking to me about GPS weight’ diatribe).

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 length difference

It’s just a few millimetres longer, no wider and 9g heavier.

The V1 to V2 measurement distinction is necessary in a single key respect, linked to the out-front mount. I’ll come onto that in a minute.

Or truly now.

The Out-Entrance Mount

The brand new ELEMNT BOLT is provided with a special out-front mount to that of the unique.

The variations are solely small however related (significantly in the event you plan to maintain your previous BOLT as you improve).

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 out-front mount
The unique BOLT within the authentic mount…

The V2 out-front mount is barely longer, matching the totally different dimensions of the v2 BOLT.

Due to the best way that the entrance fringe of the out-front mount integrates with the underside of every system, this causes points with compatibility.

The brand new V2 BOLT will match on the previous V1 mount, albeit with a spot that in all probability negates all the BOLT’s claimed aero advantages.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 fits in an original V1 mount
New V2 ELEMNT BOLT connected to the unique V1 mount

Nonetheless, the older model of the BOLT is not going to match on the brand new mount (IT DON’T WORK!). Simply in case you end up on this state of affairs.

Simply to proceed this considerably esoteric dialogue, the fixing cleat factor on the again of the system hasn’t modified. This is identical throughout all Wahoos (not less than the 2 BOLTs and the ROAM) so all units can be utilized interchangeably with the direct handlebar mount.

Computing Energy

And thusly we transfer into the internals.

Now it’s not clear whether or not Wahoo has upgraded the CPU and no matter different silicony bits go right into a BOLT system.

The brand new BOLT actually appears quick sufficient to cope with the slew of latest options. As talked about above, re-routing whenever you go astray is accomplished zippity-quick.

Wahoo has elevated the quantity of information storage, from 4GB on the unique V1 BOLT to 16GB on the brand new one. The system comes preloaded with the maps of extra areas (I suppose we’d name them continents: Europe (sure, together with the UK…), North America, Australia).

The additional storage additionally permits these maps to come back full with elevation information – in case any route you add doesn’t comprise it.

Shadly, the maps on the unique V1 BOLT will stay devoid of elevation information as a result of the system merely can’t squeeze it into its GBs (which can also be the case for the similarly-storaged 4GB ELEMNT ROAM).

Software program Modifications

Other than the main extra software program characteristic within the type of true on-board navigation, most different adjustments are extra refined.

Additionally, the place the {hardware} is able to supporting it, new options launched with the V2 BOLT might be added to the unique BOLT and the ROAM through firmware updates. Free of charge of cost.

The adjustments which can be V2 BOLT solely are additive, fairly than basically altering the expertise.


Proper, so this isn’t concerning the fonts altering, Percy (per se). Quite, the case.

Wahoo has traditionally been an all caps type of firm (in addition to a ‘go away random vowels out’ type of firm).

Not any extra.

Among the pop up alerts on the V2 BOLT at the moment are written in decrease case versus capitals. As an example, the movement-triggered alert to start out recording and the one confirming you need to end the trip.

Riders who get pleasure from a little bit of tough and tumble shouldn’t fear although. Some alerts stay full shouty capitals e.g. when the RADAR IS DISCONNECTED!

Perhaps Wahoo goes for a barely extra schizophrenic vibe with the brand new model of the BOLT.

Information Screens

The principle grid format information display screen, in addition to the elevation, mapping and different trip screens stay primarily the identical.

The color display screen does, nonetheless, permit the info (or the viewing expertise) to be barely enriched.

As talked about earlier within the submit, when displaying real-time coronary heart fee (or energy) information, the background for this specific information subject will change color relying which zone you might be in.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 data screens

It’s somewhat factor however truly fairly helpful.

You don’t must waste display screen actual property with a textual content subject stating your present zone (if it was ever that necessary to you).

Nor do you must memorise your zones and preserve the classification in your head as your coronary heart fee or energy output adjustments.

The Value

The value of the brand new BOLT is £250 / $280.

The slight situation is that I can’t discover an official place to purchase the primary model of the BOLT.

A squizz at my previous assessment suggests it was being offered for £185/$230.

So meaning an uplift of £65 or $50 – which sounds okay in US {dollars} however a little bit of a chunkier improve in British Kilos Sterling Gold Normal Velocoin.

The price of the brand new BOLT is ready (ever so) barely beneath that of the Edge 530* – which is now much more its direct Garmin competitor.

(Albeit, on the time of writing, the Edge 530 is on sale within the US, such that it prices ~$30 lower than the brand new BOLT)

For completeness, the bigger ELEMNT ROAM will set you again £300 or $380.

What Hasn’t Modified Between the V2 BOLT and the V1 BOLT?

Mainly all the things that made me j’adore my authentic BOLT.

The underlying Wahoo consumer interface and consumer expertise (UI/UX for the tech folkx) stay the identical and, in bike laptop world, greatest at school.

(For extra on the basic fantastic thing about the V1 ELEMNT BOLT, you’ll be able to take a look at my assessment right here, plus a comparability with the Garmin Edge 530).

The extra options don’t add complexity. On-board navigation works the way it ought to. Color is used sparingly and provides readability.

The BOLT stays extremely intuitive and straightforward to arrange. It does an excellent job of getting out of your manner, so you may get on and luxuriate in your bike trip.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 back view
They each have the identical Wahoo mounting… cleat?

The upgraded display screen stays straightforward to learn. You may nonetheless cut back the variety of fields down such that you may present one or two information gadgets (velocity, say) in mahoosive numbers (for those who want jumbo radical readability).

The brand new V2 BOLT retains the sense (essence?) imbued within the authentic: that the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT is a small however completely shaped bike laptop (even regardless of it being barely bigger than earlier than).

It’s attention-grabbing (maybe I ought to allow you to be the choose of that). Shopping for and utilizing the V2 BOLT has rekindled (REKINDLD in Wahoo-speak) my love affair with Wahoo’s smallest bike laptop. Which is an endorsement of types.

Ought to You Purchase The New Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT V2 Over The Older Model?

There are two questions right here. And one in all them is moot. Mute. Moot. [mouths silently]

If you’re shopping for a brand new bike laptop since you want a brand new bike laptop, then the brand new model of the BOLT is the one one broadly accessible.

From Wahoo’s perspective, the older v1 BOLT is now not on sale – and the actual fact they’ve been out of inventory for months suggests manufacturing stopped a while in the past.

For essentially the most half, the brand new BOLT has improved an already nice bike laptop. I beloved my ELEMNT BOLT – in truth I nonetheless do.

With the slight warning that comes recommending a brand new system which will have teething points but to be mounted by firmware updates, I don’t assume you’ll be disenchanted in the event you purchase the v2 BOLT.

Now the extra pertinent query, for present Wahoolahoops…

Ought to You Improve If You Already Personal The Authentic BOLT V1?

(And it nonetheless works superb.)

Now that is an unimaginable query to reply… So let’s have a go.

If you’re more than pleased along with your present V1 BOLT, then there isn’t any must improve.

Presumably you chose it within the first place figuring out that it didn’t have on-board navigation nor a color show. That was the design spec. The V2 BOLT doesn’t repair a elementary flaw with the unique mannequin.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 should you upgrade

Nonetheless, in the event you purchased the unique BOLT a while in the past and really feel in want of an improve (‘since you’re price it’), I’d haven’t any hesitation in recommending the V2 BOLT.

You get a GPS refresh, plus the extra options, with out shedding the acquainted – and glorious – consumer expertise.

My solely query in case you are in ‘GPS improve mode’ (and be at liberty to dismiss): do you need to think about the extra software program options (coaching and efficiency monitoring, Climbpro, biking dynamics) accessible on the Garmin Edge 530?

The reply (and it’s a wonderfully good one) could be, “I’m pleased with the Wahoo ecosystem and I don’t want these options”, however now could be the time to ask these deep and looking questions*.

(* Simply don’t do it out loud and in public.)

Different Bike GPSs Are Accessible (However Ought to You Purchase Them?)

I’ve written this sub-heading and, to be sincere, I’m unsure how a lot I need to write right here.

Clearly, different bike GPS(es) can be found.

There’s a complete household of Garmin Edge units to select from. There are Brytons and Levels. The Hammerhead Karoo 2 appears attention-grabbing.

I’ve written extensively about the Garmin Edge 530, the Edge 830 (in contrast right here with the 530), plus summarised the variations between the Edge 1030 and the 1030 Plus.

As linked to above, I written and YouTubed evaluating the V1 BOLT with the Edge 530.

Right here is my assessment and video concerning the Bryton Rider 750. A assessment of Levels Sprint M50 is on the best way (together with different content material).

There’s loads to there that will help you along with your analysis.

I’ll save grappling with the massive image household/ecosystem head-to-head (Garmin vs Wahoo) for an additional submit.

You got here right here for a BOLT V1 vs V2 comparability and hopefully I’ve adequately stuffed one into your brainhole.

If in case you have any questions or an opinion, be at liberty to go away it within the feedback part beneath.

Sa Calobra and goodnight!

Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic highway bike owner with solely average expertise. He began Sportive Bike owner in 2013 to file the journey to his first 100 mile trip, the RideLondon 100. Over time the weblog has expanded to incorporate coaching recommendation, gear critiques and highway 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 individual.

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