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 pc.

Unhelpfully for search engines like google and shoppers alike, Wahoo has uncared for to provide it a unique identify. The brand new machine 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 along with that.

Anyway, in somewhat an thrilling transfer (for me), I sprang into motion on launch day and acquired the brand new machine (the V2…). It got here a couple of 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 unique one (which I purchased in 2017 and used virtually completely till I went GPS set off glad in direction of the again finish of 2020).

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

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

So let’s get into the most important adjustments.

The V2 BOLT Has A Color Display screen

The BOLT has joined the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM and nearly all of the Garmin Edge line up in that includes a color display screen, versus the previous, er, gray and light-weight gray one.

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

Nonetheless, like a lot 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 somewhat 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 general 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 knowledge fields like coronary heart fee and energy to indicate what zone you’re in. Assuming you’ve set them up appropriately (utilizing the Wahoo ELEMNT companion app in your smartphone), the altering colors make it simple 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 by way of the ‘breadcrumb’ method.

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

The previous BOLT didn’t know what highway you had been on. It had no idea of roads (poor chap). If you happen to went astray, while you’d get an alert and the LEDs would flash crimson, 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 gadgets) has ‘correct’ navigation.

The V2 works like your smartphone, automobile GPS, your mind with an Ordinance Survey map. If you happen to take a incorrect flip, or are pressured 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 gadgets from Garmin and Bryton. The BOLT is fast to determine while you’re off-course, and equally speedy to work out a wise various.

And ‘wise’ 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 observe) however thus far 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 bicycle 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 machine, somewhat than being inset barely with small bevels.

The end result: the newer model appears to be like extra trendy and modern.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 case design

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

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

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 according to the display screen, somewhat than being barely depressed.

Unhealthy information when you like the additional water storage capability on wet rides. Higher information when you struggled with the previous button format.

I need to admit I didn’t battle with the previous format. In truth, I actually favored 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 unique v1 BOLT are very vibrant. Each is picked out with a person translucent oval of plastic.

For the v2 BOLT, the observe of LEDs sit behind the only flush prime of the machine, with little home windows to permit the LEDs to shine by means of.

The online impact is that the LEDs on the v2 are usually not as vibrant 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 impression 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, Phases), had a micro-USB port.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 charging port

The USB-C makes for sooner charging. If you happen to realise shortly earlier than a journey 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 digicam, my son’s Samsung telephone, my daughter’s Kindle Hearth).

Internet internet, I mark this one down within the column titled ‘Good Issues’.

Measurement and Weight

I’m considerably amazed I’ve obtained 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 regular anti-weight weenie rant (i.e the ‘eliminate that roll of midriff cushioning earlier than speaking to me about GPS weight’ diatribe).

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 length difference

It’s a couple of millimetres longer, no wider and 9g heavier.

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

Or really now.

The Out-Entrance Mount

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

The variations are solely small however related (notably when you plan to maintain your previous BOLT as you improve).

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

The V2 out-front mount is barely longer, matching the completely 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 machine, this causes points with compatibility.

The brand new V2 BOLT will match on the previous V1 mount, albeit with a spot that most likely negates the entire 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 scenario.

Simply to proceed this considerably esoteric dialogue, the fixing cleat factor on the again of the machine hasn’t modified. This is similar throughout all Wahoos (a minimum of the 2 BOLTs and the ROAM) so all gadgets 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 machine.

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

Wahoo has elevated the quantity of knowledge storage, from 4GB on the unique V1 BOLT to 16GB on the brand new one. The machine 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 knowledge – in case any route you add doesn’t include it.

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

Software program Modifications

Aside from the most important further 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 by way of firmware updates. Free of charge of cost.

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


Proper, so this isn’t in regards to the fonts altering, Percy (per se). Relatively, the case.

Wahoo has traditionally been an all caps sort of firm (in addition to a ‘depart random vowels out’ sort 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 wish to end the journey.

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.

Knowledge Screens

The principle grid format knowledge display screen, in addition to the elevation, mapping and different journey screens stay basically the identical.

The color display screen does, nevertheless, enable the information (or the viewing expertise) to be barely enriched.

As talked about earlier within the submit, when displaying real-time coronary heart fee (or energy) knowledge, the background for this explicit knowledge area will change color relying which zone you’re in.

ELEMNT BOLT V2 vs V1 data screens

It’s somewhat factor however really fairly helpful.

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

Nor do it’s a must to memorise your zones and preserve the classification in your head as your coronary heart fee or energy output adjustments.

The Worth

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

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

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

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

The price of the brand new BOLT is about (ever so) barely under 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?

Principally the whole lot that made me j’adore my unique BOLT.

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

(For extra on the elemental fantastic thing about the V1 ELEMNT BOLT, you may take a look at my evaluation 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 method, so you may get on and revel in your bike journey.

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

The upgraded display screen stays simple to learn. You possibly can nonetheless cut back the variety of fields down such that you would be able to present one or two knowledge objects (pace, say) in mahoosive numbers (for people who choose jumbo radical readability).

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

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

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]

In case you are shopping for a brand new bike pc since you want a brand new bike pc, then the brand new model of the BOLT is the one one extensively obtainable.

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

For probably the most half, the brand new BOLT has improved an already nice bike pc. I beloved my ELEMNT BOLT – actually I nonetheless do.

With the slight warning that comes recommending a brand new machine that will have teething points but to be fastened by firmware updates, I don’t assume you’ll be disillusioned when you purchase the v2 BOLT.

Now the extra pertinent query, for current Wahoolahoops…

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

(And it nonetheless works nice.)

Now that is an not possible query to reply… So let’s have a go.

In case you are very happy together with your current V1 BOLT, then there isn’t a have to 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, when 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 – person expertise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s a complete household of Garmin Edge gadgets to select from. There are Brytons and Phases. The Hammerhead Karoo 2 appears fascinating.

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 evaluation and video in regards to the Bryton Rider 750. A evaluation of Phases Sprint M50 is on the best way (together with different content material).

There’s a lot to there that can assist you together 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 under.

Sa Calobra and goodnight!

Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic highway bicycle owner with solely reasonable expertise. He began Sportive Bicycle 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 opinions and highway biking tales, all from the angle 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.


Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.

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