Wahoo currently has four cycling computers in their ELEMNT range. The ROAM, BOLT, MINI and ELEMNT itself. In this post I’m comparing the ELEMNT to the ELEMNT ROAM.
I’d say the main difference between the ELEMNT and ELEMNT ROAM is that the ELEMNT ROAM has on-device routing. This means that, like your car’s navigation, it can generate a route mid-ride. So, when you hit a closed road, wrong turn, etc, the ROAM will recalculate to get you back on your route. This is then obviously used when you’re using a planned route, but you can also use this to navigate yourself to points of interest, e.g.: your holiday home. The ELEMNT itself has navigation, but is not able to reroute your ‘on the fly’.
Another difference you’ll immediately notice is the colour screen of the ROAM. The size of the screen in 2.7″ for both devices. On top of which the ROAM also uses an ambient light sensor to change the backlight intensity. This is super handy when you go from an open field into a dark forest (I’ve experienced this first hand!).
The little things
Lastly, the little differences, which I believe are not factors you should base your decision on.
Mount screw: The ROAM mount has a little (optional) screw. This will keep the ROAM in place and makes it harder to a) lose during a rocky ride. b) be stolen in a pinch when you leave it unattended. c) it counts towards your bike weight for weigh-ins for UCI races.
Buttons: Personally, I’m not a fan of the ELEMNT buttons. I still find that I have to push really hard on the side buttons, in the ROAM these buttons are slightly different and they definitely have my preference.
Oh and The ELEMNT comes with a tri-bike mount whereas the ROAM does not. If you do time-trials/triathlons, you can pick up an aero bar mount for about $15 separately too.
The real advice I’d give is look if the price difference is worth the auto-routing. It’s a premium and you may not use it that often. If you plan your rides properly and don’t go to countries where you don’t have data-coverage the routing is probably not something you’ll use that often.
Lastly, the pricing, as this is always a factor. Wahoo ELEMNT Roam and ELEMNT are both sold directly by Wahoo and ship internationally for free. They currently go for $379 and $299 respectively. But my in productwatch I track the latest and lowest prices.
Just a note about the “links to buy” in this article, as they are sponsored. I do look for the lowest price I can find at the time of writing in a handful of stores, but by using the links I earn from qualifying purchases made through these links.