I recently started to get more serious about cycling. Last November, I completed my first metric century ride here in Santa Barbara, CA. As I really enjoyed training for the metric century, after successfully completing it, I treated myself to a road bike (I was using my commuter for the century ride) and I bought the Giant TCR Advanced 1 Ultegra. Since then, I completed more than 1,000 miles of cycling.
After I purchased my new ride, I started my research for bike computers. The go-to choices seemed to be one of the Garmin GPS bike computers. But what bothered me about going down that path, was the fact that I would carry my iPhone with me on most, if not all of my rides, and the iPhone has a GPS receiver and great cycling apps. It seemed very redundant buying another GPS device for several hundreds of Dollars if I already own a perfectly fine GPS device, my iPhone.
That said, I started to look for iPhone mounts. After checking out some bikes with mounts, I quickly came to the conclusion that I did not want to have a bulky iPhone mount on my brand new road bike. I also did not feel comfortable mounting my $600 iPhone on the handlebar of my bike.
So I was left to figure out an alternative to GPS bike computers and handlebar mounts. After doing a few Google searches, I came across the Wahoo RFLKT iPhone bike computer. I read through the RFLK+ product description and it exactly sounded like the solution I was looking for. I was stoked! After reading through a few product reviews , I went ahead and placed my order. DC Rainmaker has a great, very detailed Wahoo RFLKT+ product review on his blog which helped me a lot. Thanks Ray!
Below is a brief product overview video of the RFLKT, put together by the folks at Wahoo:
My first impressions:
When I first received the RFLKT+, the device was very easy to set up and get going. You can customize and configure the screens on your iPhone and then push them out to the RFKLT+. There are a lot of metrics you can choose from and you have a lot of different layout options. Depending on the layout and number of metrics displayed, you can set up up to 14 screens (and then browse through the screens by pressing the next / previous buttons). You can also customize the action behind every button.
I love the fact that the Wahoo RFLKT+ takes advantage of existing sensors from my iPhone, such as GPS, and adds additional ones like ANT+ and a barometric sensor to feed additional data points to the iPhone and my cycling apps.
I also very much like the Wahoo iPhone app. And they solved another problem that I came across. I love the social aspect of all those fitness apps out there. I can follow my bike friends on Strava and my buddies in Germany use Runkeeper to track their runs. However, I do not want to run all those apps during my runs and rides. What app should be my default app? Wahoo allows you to easily upload the workout data to a number of different apps with just a click-of-a-button. So during my run or bike ride, I track my activities with the Wahoo app and then easily send them out to the apps I am using (Strava, Nike+, Runkeeper). Well done Wahoo!
A few hiccups:
The device worked great for the first 2 months. But then I had to exchange the battery for the first time, even though I used the bike computer for less than 500 miles and just for a few weeks. I thought perhaps this was a result of me playing around quite a bit with it when I first got it. But it turns out that it was a software bug that was fixed a few weeks later with a new software update (the problem seems to be fixed for now).
Another few weeks after my battery issues, my screen started to show vertical lines permanently over all of my screens. It was very annoying as I barely could read the actual screen. I went ahead and contacted Wahoo’s customer support and explained them my issue and they instantly send me a replacement unit. It was a very pleasant customer experience. Nice work Wahoo team! And my new unit has been working with a few connection issues every now and then.
All in all I enjoy the Wahoo RFLKT+. It exactly does what I expect it to do. I hope in the next months, Wahoo adds some more functionality to further integrate with my iPhone, so that I can see a notification on my RFLKT+ when I get a new text message, for example.
I think some of the issues I experienced are due to the fact that this is a very new product on the market. And with that, some hiccups have to be expected. But kudos to the Wahoo support team that dealt very professionally with the problems of my defective unit.
That said, I do recommend the Wahoo RFLKT+ as a great alternative (and most likely much cheaper too) when compared to some GPS powered bike computers.
- Connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth
- Adds ANT+ connectivity to your iPhone
- Additional barometric and temperature sensors
- The Wahoo app allows you to share your data to your favorite cycling app (Strava, Runkeeper, Nike+, etc.)
- Our rating:
- Second display for your iPhone to preserve your iPhone’s battery
- Adds ANT+, barometric and a temperature sensor to your iPhone
- Fully customizable screens to display metrics that matter to you
Where to buy?