Wahoo Elemnt vs Garmin 1030 are among the most popular bike computers in the market today. Both products are equipped with advanced navigations features, and they also come with several mounting accessories. Wahoo Elemnt is great in terms of battery life and value, but Garmin 1030 still has a better display and a wider feature set.
Continue reading to find out further about:
– What accessories that come with Wahoo Elemnt and Garmin 1030
– The features and connectivity options on each model
– Which bike computer that is generally easier to use
– Which bike computer that provides smarter navigation
– The battery life of Wahoo Elemnt vs Garmin 1030
– Whether you should choose Wahoo Elemnt or Garmin 1030
Wahoo Elemnt: Overview
Wahoo Elemnt will immediately impress you with its excellent packaging design. You can see the actual unit through the transparent window of the box. When you unfurl the box, you will see a large image of a bike handlebar along with several images of how Wahoo Elemnt will look while riding. The images are self-explanatory and very easy to understand. See also: CatEye Stealth 50 Vs Evo+.
After you slide the internal tray out from the box, you will find that all the accessories are organized neatly. There are three different kinds of mounts included: a stem mount, an out-front mount, and a triathlon bike aerobar mount.
However, the stem mount needs to be kept in place with zip ties rather than industrial-grade bands. Fortunately, the zip ties are included. The other mounts don’t need zip ties, tough; they can be installed with a small screw.
Wahoo Elemnt is charged with the included Micro USB cable. On the back of the unit, you can find a quarter-turn mount. Keep in mind that this is a little bit different than Garmin’s quarter-turn mount, as it has slightly wider edges.
If you want to place Wahoo Elemnt on a Garmin-compatible mount, you can narrow the edges by using a file. Or, if you want to use a Garmin rubber band mount, you can force Wahoo Elemnt to fit by inserting the front end first, followed by twisting it left and right while pressing it down.
Wahoo Elemnt: Features
In terms of connectivity, Wahoo Elemnt vs Garmin 1030 are quite similar. They both support ANT+, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. So, they both can easily connect with a wide range of wireless sensors.
Wahoo Elemnt is a modern GPS bike computer that is very easy to operate. It can be configured through a paired smartphone, and it has a zoom function for every page. It has decent features and performance, both when working alone and when working with external sensors.
Wahoo Elemnt can track a wide range of metrics. The standard ones like speed, time, distance, power, and heart rate are definitely available. You can also capture more advanced data by integrating electronic drivetrains.
The unit connects to external sensors with ANT+. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone, and Wi-Fi to connect to your home network. Interestingly, Wahoo Elemnt has put a bet in the phone integration by assuming that riders will prefer to configure the bike computer from a smartphone rather than a menu system in the bike computer itself.
Wahoo Elemnt can automatically sync with Today’s Plan and TrainingPeaks. It will guide you through familiar bar graphs, and it will provide pop-up prompts to encourage you to reach your power targets gradually. Wahoo Elemnt can also deliver alerts for incoming calls, texts, or emails when connected to your smartphone.
Garmin 1030: Overview
Garmin 1030 is the updated version of Garmin 1000. It comes with several notable changes. First, unlike its predecessor, it now can sit flush on your bike’s handlebar. Second, it now has a bottom piece that will allow you to attach an external battery pack – though the external battery pack is sold separately.
The packaging is good, with all the accessories being put in a bunch in the same compartment. There is the out-front mount, bits, and lanyard rings. There are also rubber band mounts included. Several extra bands are also provided, so you can replace the band when it has been worn off.
Between the two buttons on the side, you can find the Micro USB charging port. Meanwhile, on the back, there are the charging contacts for use with the external battery pack, along with the MicroSD memory card slot. In terms of size, Garmin 1030 is indeed larger and bulkier than Wahoo Elemnt, but it can sit on your bike’s handlebar just fine.
Garmin 1030: Features
Garmin 1030 has so many features and capabilities, so you will need some time to get used with the bike computer. While the user interface is not overly complicated, and it requires minimal scrolling, finding some settings may be surprisingly difficult because the grouping of the settings is not intuitive. Some settings are in the “Settings” page, and some others are in the “Profile” page because they are profile-specific.
In order to start a ride, you need to select an activity profile and press the start button. You can switch between data and maps by swiping left and right on the screen. In order to access widgets, which include some common settings, optional add-ons, and weather information, you need to swipe down on the screen.
Fortunately, configuring Garmin 1030 is very easy and straightforward. You can do it right on the unit’s touchscreen. Compared to non-touchscreen Garmin models, Garmin 1030 feels a lot more practical to use.
The display can show up to ten fields of data per page. You can customize it however you want by adding or removing data fields, so that you can get only the metrics that you need.
Garmin 1030 can connect to ANT+ sensors. It can also connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and it has Wi-Fi for data transfer. Just like the previous models, LiveTrack, GroupTrack, and Incident Detection features are available on Garmin 1030. A new feature is rider-to-rider messaging.
Uploading to Garmin Connect is very smooth and seamless. If you have a Strava Premium subscription, you will benefit from the latest Strava Live on Garmin 1030, which can provide real-time comparisons with your personal best records. You can also install third-party apps from Garmin Connect IQ Store.
Wahoo Elemnt vs Garmin 1030: Ease of Use
In general, both Wahoo Elemnt and Garmin 1030 are fairly easy to use. Both work well for navigation purposes. However, Garmin 1030 is still superior in terms of quick access and visual presentation.
Wahoo Elemnt has a 2.7-inch monochrome display, which is fairly easy to see in most light conditions. No matter if you are riding under the glare of sunlight or in a dim evening, you will be able to read the display just fine. Unfortunately, making quick adjustments is a bit difficult because you need to access the settings through your smartphone.
Garmin 1030 is equipped with a 3.5-inch color touchscreen. The larger size is definitely nice, as it will allow you to see a bigger map and receive more information at once. Accessing the settings and features is relatively easier, especially because you can access them quickly through the touchscreen without having to press too many buttons.
When going off from your route during a ride, Wahoo Elemnt will flash the LEDs red to alert you. However, Garmin 1030 feels smarter because it can suggest a way to return to your route, and this capability is particularly useful when you are riding in a new environment and you get lost.
Wahoo Elemnt vs Garmin 1030: Battery Life
When Wahoo Elemnt was introduced for the first time, it could easily outshine Garmin 1000, mostly because of its superior battery life. According to the specs, Wahoo Elemnt can last for up to 17 hours per charge. Of course, in real-life situations, the average battery life is lower than that. In normal use, it can last for about 5 – 6 hours per charge, depending on how much you use the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Garmin 1030 is the company’s answer to the challenge presented by Wahoo Elemnt. The claimed battery life of Garmin 1030 is 20 hours, which is even more impressive. Again, the maximum battery life is only attainable in the best conditions with minimal use of the wireless connectivity.
In normal use, the average battery life of Garmin 1030 is still lower at about 4.5 hours per charge. So, Wahoo Elemnt is still better. But, if you are willing to spend more money for the external batery pack, Garmin 1030 can last even longer. The company claims that the external battery pack can add 24 more hours. When tested with the external battery pack, Garmin 1030 can work all day long.
Wahoo Elemnt vs Garmin 1030
Between the two, Garmin 1030 is generally better. It has more advanced features, and is more practical to use. You can access the settings easily on the touchscreen. When going off from a route, it can suggest a way to return to the route. It also has the option to work with an external battery pack to greatly extend the battery life.