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Wahoo Elemnt Mini bike computer review

25 Oct 2017

Page 1 of 2Wahoo Elemnt Mini bike computer review

Verdict:

An effective bike computer that gives a lot but could do with simplifying

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£79.99
For 
Value for money, speed sensor included, clear display
Against 
A few less features and a bit more refinement could improve the Elemnt Mini

Not content with its place in the turbo trainer trade, Wahoo has begun its full-on assault at the bike computer market.

In a bid to rival Garmin, Wahoo has released three bike computers in the last year or so in an attempt to make its mark.

Its first attempt, the Wahoo Elemnt, has been greatly received with many believing it to be a true rival to Garmin, thanks to its simplicity and connectivity proving to be a triumph.

Moving on from the Elemnt, and its aerodynamic brother the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, the brand's next step was the Elemnt Mini.

Billed as the ‘bike computer for those that want max data in a mini package’, Wahoo has a clear vision for the Elemnt Mini: Keep it compact and pack it full of stuff.

The question is, has Wahoo managed to follow up on the success of the Elemnt with its baby sibling?

Well, yes and no. Parts of the Elemnt Mini are superb, yet others need work.

At £79.99, this bike computer offers great value for money. Paired via bluetooth to your smartphone, this computer can do most things.

Full connectivity with the Wahoo app means uploading rides is automatic, seamlessly taking files from the computer to the app and then to third-party sites such as Strava.

When on the app, you can look at your data as would be expected, including speed, distance and heart rate. Simple but effective.

This is a definite step above its direct competitors that have you plugging your computer into your laptop to upload each ride.

This full connectivity also allows you access to other quirks.

For example, you can fully customise your computer screen from your phone, with it updating immediately.

This is something I found useful on a particularly tough day, hiding my heart rate when it was higher than I would have liked.

You can also download routes onto the the Wahoo Elemnt Mini, a nice touch to a computer that comes at such a small cost.

However, it is this connectivity that leads the Elemnt Mini to a slight bump in the road. To enjoy the full spoils of the computer, the bluetooth connection is needed with your phone.

On a usual Saturday ride, stopping at the cafe after a couple of hours, I pulled out my phone to realise a fear I hoped wouldn’t happen.

The battery on my phone had gone from a healthy 100% to a less encouraging 30%. With no other apps open, and the Elemnt Mini still connected, this looked to be the cause.

The draining of my phone battery unfortunately foils one of the other positives of the product.

With only a small screen to support and a basic two-button system, the computer contains a one year battery life.

Powered by a coin cell battery, the Elemnt Mini outlasts all its rivals for battery life yet, as before mentioned, this is compromised by the effect it will have on the battery of you phone.

Back to its value for money, Wahoo is generous enough to not only provide the computer but also a speed sensor.

Giving a more accurate speed reading, including a sensor with the computer whilst keeping the cost down is mighty impressive.

You can also pair this with other Wahoo appliances such as the cadence sensor and Tickr heart rate monitor giving this low cost computer plenty of ‘bang for its buck’.

Value for money is not an issue for this product, but after slight reflection I had a realisation.

Once I'd used the computer a few times I was happy but felt things could be slicker.

After forgetting my phone, it bugged me slightly that I couldn’t track my ride. I also found that, on occasion, the cadence and heart rate monitors would drop off and fail to record data.

It led me to think that, if I am honest, I would have been perfectly happy if the Elemnt Mini was lacking some of these extras and concentrated on the basics.

For example, I would have taken a computer that could perform ride tracking without the support of my phone over the ability to receive text alerts or partner with a heart rate monitor.

Don’t get me wrong, I am impressed by what Wahoo has managed to do for an £80 computer, but keeping some things more simple may have made this more refined.

Battling against the likes of Garmin, Wahoo has got its work cut out to make its mark in the cycling computer market.

Yet, with its first three attempts, it is clear that Wahoo is on the right track. The Wahoo Elemnt Mini, at just £79.99, has probably entered the market as the most competitively priced cycling computer around.

Allow Wahoo to refine its craft and it will not be long till Wahoo is recognised for its cycling computers and not just its pro level turbo trainers.

Page 1 of 2Wahoo Elemnt Mini bike computer review

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