Wahoo RFLKT Versus Garmin Edge 510 New Review By HRWC

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Wahoo RFLKT versus Garmin Edge 510 is no contest according to the Heart Rate Watch Company blog reviewers, but the market for the Wahoo RFLKT may still be larger due to a much lower price point.

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Garmin Edge 510 Won't Likely Be Challeneged But Less Serious Cyclists Will Relish The Savings

The Bluetooth Smart can communicate with the iPhone but if the iPhone's battery runs down the Garmin Edge 510 head unit will continue gathering all of your data where the Wahoo RFLKT will not.

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Wahoo RFLKT and Garmin Edge 510 are examples of Bluetooth Smart enabled bike computers that use a Bluetooth Smart enabled smart phone in quite different ways according to reviewers at the Heart Rate Watch Company. In fact, the Wahoo RFLKT gets all its data from an app on the smart phone that gathers the data from heart rate straps and cadence sensors that are also Bluetooth Smart.

Sound confusing? "Not long ago putting the iPhone on a case on the handlebars was the norm, where iPhone would be mounted to the stem or handlebars of the bike", says Rusty Squire, president of the Heart Rate Watch Company. He adds, "Only one problem with this and that is that the iPhone inside a case is realy big and it weighs a lot, not the best strategy for cyclists who pay thousands for carbon fiber to minimize weight".

THE GARMIN APPROACH

The Garmin Edge 500 has a 15 hour plus lithium-ion battery and all the firmware built right into the bike computer unit, along with Bluetooth Smart. "The Bluetooth Smart can communicate with the iPhone but if the iPhone's battery runs down the Garmin Edge 510 head unit will continue gathering all of your data, whereas the Wahoo RFLKT will not because it is iPhone dependant", says Squire. He adds, "I prefer this approach because the data is independent of an app and iPhone, which has a notoriously short battery life".

Of course the Garmin Edge 510 approach is considerably more expensive than having a "dummy head unit" that acts as a display. "Be that as it may Garmin is light years ahead of most of these app developers for software quality", says Squire. He adds, "It is still a game where you get what you pay for".

THE WAHOO APPROACH

The Wahoo RFLKT has opted to create a dummy head unit with a fairly low-end display quality but places Bluetooth Smart in the unit so it can receive data from either iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 where an app processes the data. "The reason this will be commercially successful all boils down to cost", says Squire. He adds, "It's not better, or even equivalent, to the Garmin Edge 510, but it is close enough data-wise where a lot will opt for it".

Wahoo RFLKT bike computer lacks the touchscreen navigation, although it does look like Wahoo will create an out front bike mount to match Garmin. iPhone does not have a barometric altimeter either so it lacks that aspect of Garmin Edge 510.

Device like the Wahoo Blue Speed and Cadence will deliver all speed and cadence data to Bluetooth Smart enabled devices.

THE VERDICT

"Serious cyclists are still going to opt for the Garmin Edge 510, no if, and or but about it", says Squire. He adds, "That still leaves a very large market place however for the less-than-serious cyclists and it is here where the Wahoo RFLKT will thrive".

"The key difference is that the Wahoo RFLKT has to have the iPhone functioning while the Garmin Edge 510 does not", says Squire.

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Rusty Squire, President

Tarie Beck, CFO
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