Wahoo's ultra successful bike computer technology is now available in a multi sport watch to make tracking your activity and performance super easy.
But if their Elemnt Bolt and Roam bike computers are so good, why do I need a Rival watch?
The watch is perfect if you take part in other sports. You don't need an arsenal of tech in your cupboard to monitor the sports you take part in.
You don't have to worry about taking your bike computer with you. Treat the watch like a watch, and after you've finished tracking your commute or your ride, just go about your day. The watch measures your heart from your wrist, so you don't need to wear a heart rate strap on your chest.
If you have a spill when riding off-road, there is no risk the unit will go flying off your handlebars and into the dirt. If you race cyclo-cross and switch bikes in bad conditions, you will seamlessly keep tracking your performance, instead of needing to remove the handlebar unit.
Why is the Wahoo Rival watch better than other smart watches?
It is considerably lighter than comparable products from Garmin, weighing a mere 53g. There is a whopping 24 hour battery life, which extends to 14 days if you are using it without tracking.
The watch receives not only text messages and notifies you of incoming calls, but — unlike the Wahoo Bolt GPS bike computer — the Rival displays WhatsApp notifications, too, making it easier to see what is happening without constantly digging out your phone from your pocket.
Wahoo added a lap screen function — something that features on Suunto, but is missing from Garmin and Polar devices. One of the device's most exciting features is touchless transitions, which means the watch recognises a switch in disciplines automatically.
Less is more approach
Wahoo Element Bolt and Roam computers are set up in seconds via the Wahoo App. The same is true for the Rival. Wahoo have gained legions of fans thanks to their simple to use app. The display and settings on your device are changed via the Wahoo App, which makes it easier to modify your settings rather than pressing a sequence of buttons on the device thousands of times, like you would do with a digital clock.
The Rival is set up in a matter of touches. All you have to do is download the app and pair it. Then the watch is ready to use, the quickest set up of all the multisport watches available.
While not unique to the sports watch world, LiveTrack is a great feature that allows you to send not only your location but your training data to friends via email, text, or a WhatsApp group. Not only is this a great safety feature, but if used in a considered manner, lunch can be served as you walk in the door from a ride, or at least a hot coffee!
This says more about Wahoo than their watch, because their app is at the centre of the functionality of their devices. Wahoo are constantly updating and adding features that are requested by users. When they have an update available, you don't need to go searching for a cable to plug the device into the computer — updates are via the app, as long as you are connected to Wi-Fi.
The latest update includes a start/un-pause reminder, which reminds Elemnt Rival users to start a workout, or un-pause if motion is detected while Elemnt Rival is manually paused and not restarted. They also added functionality for runners to use the watch whilst running on a treadmill with Zwift, too.
Features at a glance
|Impact resistant Gorilla Glass screen|
|Wrist based heart rate tracking|
|Wide colour display with ambient light|
|Notifications from WhatsApp, WeChat, text, incoming calls|
|Tracks heart rate, step and calorie tracking|
|Altimeter & Accelerometer|
|Customisable workout screens|
|Dimensions||46.5 x 46.5 x 15.3 mm|