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See the road ahead with Hammerhead

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20 Apr 2022
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A bike computer for the digital generation, Hammerhead’s Karoo 2 understands what’s around the corner 

Hammerhead’s Karoo 2 is a cycling computer that performs like a smartphone. Pushing the boundaries of GPS cycling computer technology, it can guide you through unknown terrain with predictive path technologies and industry-leading mapping.

At the same time, its intelligent qualities and intuitive interface offer effortless navigation of the unit’s many features.

Representing a paradigm shift in how cyclists access information about the world around them, Karoo uses a custom Android operating system similar to most smartphones and tablets, meaning it feels instantly familiar.

Its operating system is backed by advanced hardware, including a super-fast Qualcomm quad-core processor.

Unlike less nimble devices that struggle to adapt in the wild, the Karoo 2 majors in on-the-go flexibility. Delivering seamless route imports from apps such as Strava and Komoot, it easily keeps pace with changing plans.

Turn from your path, and it re-routes quickly, while its pin-drop routing lets you easily modify your destination on the fly. Riders expect this type of seamless and dynamic user experience from a smartphone, not a bike computer.

Taking the Karoo out for a first spin, it’s a feature we found ourselves calling on while sat in a cafe watching rain clouds gather during a 200km audax.

Knowing the Karoo 2 could quickly supply a bail-out route to the nearest train station made it easier to find the resolve to get back on the bike and push on.

Know the road ahead

Whether riding your favourite home roads or exploring somewhere new, you’ll benefit from precise information on what’s up the road.

Follow a route and you’ll get clear turn-by-turn directions; even if you’re making it up as you go along, you’ll still receive accurate details of upcoming climbs.

Performance elements receive equal attention. Key among these is Hammerhead’s exclusive Climber feature, which automatically delivers the profile of any upcoming ascents along with distance to the top and exact changes in gradient.

It’s like having a personal directeur sportif to guide you.

Ascents are broken into colour-coded 100m sections, providing you with an agenda that is easy to read even when riding on the limit.

Each climb on your route can also be previewed ahead of time, helping you gauge how much exertion to put in throughout the rest of your ride.

Ticking off from an auto-generated list as you progress, you’ll be able to track your progress throughout the day. KOM hunters will also appreciate the Karoo’s ability to run through Strava Live Segments in real time.

Information from Karoo 2’s sensors is also neatly handled. Rendered with clear, minimalist graphics and vivid colours, the 3.2-inch screen boasts twice the pixel density of its nearest rival.

The design of each element feels like a well-designed app. The Karoo’s data screens can also be customised in seconds to tailor the device to the needs of individual riders.

This allows users to view their current metrics in their most pleasing and usable format to them.

The anti-glare Dragontrail glass touchscreen is highly responsive, and the Karoo 2’s functions can also be accessed via four buttons along the side of the device, great if you’re wearing thick gloves.

Connect to everything

The device is powered by two separate low-energy chipsets, with connectivity taken care of by a class-leading suite of BLE, ANT+, Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, and GPS options.

Internal sensors include a high-accuracy temperature detector, magnetometer, three-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, meaning quick and stable connections plus accurate data.

The Karoo 2’s battery capacity has also been expanded, coming in at 2,500mAh. This enables a 12-hour ride time in normal conditions, while quick charging sees the device reach 30% capacity in just 30 minutes, and 50% in an hour.

Internal storage has also been upped, the Karoo 2 coming with 32GB of high-speed storage – all the room you need to keep maps and data on board the device.

Its enhanced capacity means you can cram in a continent’s worth of free mapping, an invitation to adventure if ever there was one.

All in hand

Other more tangible design features receive equal attention. The Karoo 2 is created around a lightweight polycarbonate chassis, which is protected by an integrated elastomer surround to ward against clumsy moments.

Inside, lightweight laser-created antennas provide reliable communication, while charging is taken care of by a resilient and waterproof USB-C port, future-proofing the device and contributing to its smartphone-like performance.

The result is a unit that Hammerhead says is smarter and lighter than the current rivals on the market.

The Hammerhead Mounting System takes care of anchoring the Karoo 2 to your bicycle, having been designed from scratch to be stronger, lighter, and lower-profile than any existing mount, including the quarter-turn industry standard.

It not only allows the unit to slide straight into place but connects with a reassuringly positive click. Despite this near-instant fixing and removal, the mount is easily strong enough for rough gravel escapades while remaining pleasingly slimline. Backwards-compatible, an adapter for Garmin-style mounts is also available.   

Always ahead of the curve

The Karoo 2 makes for a great computer today. However, Hammerhead is committed to delivering consistent, meaningful enhancements to its customers, with bi-weekly software releases to support your ever-changing performance goals.

Bringing improvements, features and bug fixes, Hammerhead will keep your Karoo 2 on the cutting edge without the need to buy a new device, meaning this already comprehensive device will only get better.

• Shop now at hammerhead.io, and use promo code CYCLIST to get your free custom colour kit and premium water bottle with the purchase of a Karoo 2