In comparison Wahoo's
ELEMNT ROAM is slightly (but only slightly) the left field
choice. When the ROAM came out the initial feedback was not as
universally positive as Garmin's 530/830. On a price to spec ratio
the Garmin blows it out of the water.
However, what looks good on paper doesn't always work out that
way in the real world. The Wahoo may have fewer features; but its
user experience is (in my eyes) better.
I love how with a touch of a button you can simply increase or
decrease the amount of data fields you see. I love how you set up
your screens on your phone, and then it syncs onto the Element in
real time. Importing routes is easier on the Wahoo as well; it
immediately syncs with things like RideWithGPS, Komoot or Strava.
With the Garmin you need to get the relevant IQ app first.
I am a total tech Luddite, yet I was able to create a route on
my iPad and then see it on the ELEMNT ROAM 30 seconds later; it's
so easy. I also love how the Roam uses its lights at the top of the
unit to indicate turns; and it flashes bright red when you are off
The downside to the ROAM is the maps look very dull in
comparison to the Garmin. It is in colour, but the richness and
contrast are poor versus the quality of the Garmin's screen.
Overall I honestly don't think there is a loser here. The
Garmins are probably the safest choice; they are the dominant
player in this field and the new 530/830 are an absolute technical
tour de force.
The Wahoo has fewer features; but given I don't use half the
Garmin's capabilities anyway I appreciate the clarity and ease of
the Wahoo user experience more. Being greedy - if the ROAM just had
an equivalent of the Garmin's ClimbPro it would be the best of both
Ultimately your choice will come down to personal preference; do
you crave every last bit of data or is ease of use your priority?
Either system will give you accurate and reliable info.