Jump from Garmin to Wahoo

Hi All, I have finally made the bold move to jump from being a Garmin Fanboy for years to Wahoo. Why you ask - fair question! After years of falling for Garmin marketing spin and spending literally thousands on Garmin head units, watches and any other device they make for fitness I have finally decided that the measuring of my Training Readiness, Body Battery, HRV, Training Status etc etc is not healthy for my overall mental health. It may provide lots of insights for many athletes but for me I was starting to wake up and check my Morning Report only for it to tell me that all of my health metrics suggest I should not train hard, continue to recover, find more sleep…and so on and so on. I have also used Whoop bands and Garmin together - that really did my head in. So, bought a ROAM and Bolt, subscribed to Wahoo X, got a Tickr HR and Rival watch and did my first ride this morning and absolutely love the Wahoo UI which gives me more than enough training and workout metrics that I need. I do love the simplicity of Wahoo devices, UI and find the X training system way better than anything Garmin have. I also think I may dump TrainerRoad and just use the X training platform. Love the videos also during the workout. Still very new to Wahoo but so far loving it and looking forward to immersing myself even deeper in to the Eco-system. Would love to see what other say about my decision and any experiences they have had in jumping from Garmin to Wahoo as it is a big decision for some, including me, when I have been a loyal Garmin user for many many years. Cheers Adam.

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Welcome to the forums @adamreed!

It’s great to hear your perspective about your move from Garmin to Wahoo head units.

Welcome to the SYSTM world as well. The Sufferfest workouts in SYSTM are really engaging and entertaining, as well as being really well designed.

Feel free to ask any questions you have. There’s plenty of knowledge here on the forum, as well as plenty of opinions!

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First, WELCOME to the forums @adamreed! You’ll find you might end up spending a little too much time here :wink: . Generally you’ll find it the most respectful, thoughtful and fun community of like minded folks on the interwebs.

You put this in the “Training” category, and, based on your opening comments, I think it makes sense to leave it here too. Though your questions are broader.

I was a long time user of Garmin stuff too, but not anywhere as committed as you. Had an HRM, speed and cadence sensors and used Garmin Connect while my cycling head units were always Garmin (started with a 500, then a 520 then a 530 as I always liked the button push vs touch screen, which wahoo, at least at the moment, doesn’t do). Unlike you, I was a reluctant Garmin user, as it was all I knew. I always hated their head unit interface, and some of their feedback (like hearing I hadn’t gone hard enough, or my personal favourite, that my long solo gravel ride was “unproductive”, :rofl:) That said, I did like the Garmin Connect site for post ride reviews, and route creation. Also, having purchased TACX, their Neo is an enviable bit of kit.

My indoor equipment though is Wahoo 100%. Got a Kickr '18 and a Climb and even bit the bullet and got the Headwind (on sale). The Kickr Climb combo is, in my mind and for my money, one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my personal health and fitness.

On the head unit side, I jumped over to Wahoo as a beta tester initially, but since using the ROAM2, I am such a fan that if my head unit ever dies, there’s no question, I’d get another Wahoo unit. Being able to set up my head unit using my phone makes is soooooo much simpler than Garmin’s method which always infuriated me, and, like you said, it gives me more than enough of what I need for my purposes. I particularly like the Zoom feature.

I am also a long time user of SYSTM, as I was a Sufferlandrian (aka Sufferfest user) long before The Acquisition and SYSTM has pretty much everything that the Sufferfest had (all the videos that is) and now a whole lot more. I’ve got friends who use TR and swear by it but I just can’t get motivated with workouts that dont have video. While SYSTM has a LOT of No-VIds and my go to workouts are all Sufferfest vids, I see the value of the TR style No-Vids and will do them on occasion as part of a training plan.

The plans themselves were developed by Sir Neal Henderson, one of the big names in Sport Science and, while he is no longer with The Company, his legacy lives on in Wahoo X.

Anyway, looking forward to hearing more about your journey and how you get along. There’s a lot here to like (even if you see me complaining here on the forums).

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guilty as charged.

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Welcome to the party, and congratulations on escaping data overload! It can really sap your will or desire to train, improve, to even enjoy things.

Garmin is an interesting beast. They continually add new features and new data but imo for a ton of people the additions (and existing functionality) is just not useful and can even induce anxiety or stress. This too is why I like Wahoo solutions from the bike computers to SYSTM (even though I don’t use the SYSTM training plans I still use the site and some of the workouts). That’s not to say Wahoo couldn’t do with some more post-activity data, but I think over all Wahoo is much closer to what I would call a healthy/useful balance.

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I have used Garmin for years.

I just ignore what I do not need.

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Heya Adam, welcome to the Light Side :rofl: Systm (originally The Sufferfest) was the first ever training platform I ever used and is awesome. I’ve always been a committed Garmin user and still am, but get where you are coming from on the frustration of the morning report. I had the same issue but since using a coach, my report is always sunshine and roses and I can ignore Garmin if it says otherwise because my coach is far more articulate :rofl:
Like Sir @Glen.Coutts , I also beta test and can often be spotted with 2 headunits on my bike, one Garmin and one Wahoo (once it was 4, dont ask). This works really well for comparing how they deal with things like climbs.
My first choice remains Garmin (for several reasons, including metrics, battery life, solar and touch screen and quality route planning in their app) and I also like the apps, widgets and extra data fields I can install but the accuracy, readability, simpicity, reliability and ease of use of the Wahoo units are 2nd to non and I recommend them to everyone!
It is a big jump to change, but easier than going the other way.

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Your Tickr will probably fail soon. Very unreliable.

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Are you a qualified medical professional? :wink: :wink: :joy: :joy:

Jokes aside, I still have a V1 that is working fine.

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I understand the concerns @adamreed and I’ve voiced my own dissatisfaction at Garmin’s tendency to slam me as Unproductive almost relentlessly during periods I’m not stretching myself hard enough, but almost as soon as I do, Garmin was too ready to say I was Overreaching or even occasionally STRAINED. (Sometimes they WERE right. :roll_eyes:)

I am also a big fan of my KICKR Bike, (V1, and I’d probably like a V2 even more, but I am not about to toss more cash that direction.)

But I’ve had an EDGE 830 for about 3 years, along with Garmin HRMs, speed sensors, cadence sensors. Added FENIX 6S Sapphire about 2-1/2 years ago. I’ve had my gripes, struggled with issues, but gotten excellent customer service when issues finally pushed me too far, and got a replacement HRM a year beyond warranty, and a replacement FENIX 6S Sapphire a few months beyond warranty. Neither of them was non-functional, but had been causing problems they shouldn’t have, and Garmin took the responsibility and stepped up and did the more-than-fair thing.
Would Wahoo have done the same? Very possibly.

The biggest reason I landed with Garmin when I finally decided to get a head unit was because I felt the data they log and make accessible exceeded what I saw with Wahoo head units. And as I another has mentioned, their Garmin Connect app has some very nice features I find helpful.
That increased when I got the FENIX 6 and gained sleep tracking, PulseOx sensing, and all day activity and HR tracking.

The EDGE 830 touch screen was a factor in choosing Garmin as well, and it has been MOSTLY good, but it definitely had some issues on occasion that made me very frustrated, like not even being able to get the SAVE ride to register, as well as other issues.

I’ve struggled with the 830 many times very recently, and less than a month ago, I got a call from Garmin offering me a free replacement UPGRADE to the 840.
THIS CHANGED EVERYTHING!
It has been an AMAZING upgrade in pretty much every way. I can read the screen even with my OLD EYES, not just the big numbers, like I could read on the 830, but even the small stuff is readable by the same eyes that had NO hope of seeing it on the older model. The resolution claims to be the same but the readability is so superior, I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t experience it.
The added features are also VERY useful to me, at least. I really like the STAMINA feature that shows where I stand as I start each ride, and shows my reserves of Stamina declining as I go throughout the ride. It drops faster if I’m riding harder, but regains ground if I ease up and recover. I’m learning to like that feature a lot.
The graphical displays are now better than ever as well.

ANOTHER great feature that makes the 840 the absolute best overall head unit on the market today (IMO!) is that it now INCLUDES BOTH BUTTONS AND TOUCH SCREEN!!
Anything the 540 can do with buttons, the 840 can do as well, using either method. THIS is a GAME CHANGER! No more losses of control if the screen gets too covered with raindrops, no problems switching from screen to screen if it won’t register your swipes when your gloves don’t work with touch screens. Just use the up or down button and scroll right where you need to be.

It is RADICALLY more intuitive now. No longer am I feeling like I either have to memorize a lot of menus that don’t make sense if I want to use button controls.

AND NOW, (FINALLY!) the Garmin Connect APP ON THE PHONE CAN BE USED to CHANGE SCREEN/PAGE configurations ON THE DEVICE! I actually made some changes on the fly about 2 or 3 times on a recent ride, working to get the pages reordered so I could scroll back and forth with the desired pages close together. I was able to sync it immediately to the head unit as I rode along, and see the changed order right away. This is an overdue feature, but finally is here.

One other thing I found with the 840 was greatly improved Map routing and adjusting to changes on the fly with a course/route you are following. I’ve done this several times and it is super quick to adjust and accept your adjustments to getting from point A to B differently than was laid out to begin with.
And one route I use that ALWAYS used to warn me of being off course (when I was not off at all) many times with the EDGE830 now doesn’t miss a beat, never thinks I’m off course, and provides a great experience rather than aggravation that used to occur.

There are other improvements I won’t list here with the 840 over the 830, and I realize this sounds rather biased toward Garmin, but I want to be clear that I have not even used a Wahoo head unit myself. I have played with them in shops and know how they look, but that’s about it. I think there are some very nice features, but based on what I’ve researched and what I’ve now seen on the EDGE 840, no Wahoo unit would tempt me to switch.

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Thanks for your comments. I have always been an info/data junkie. My working career was full of it and rightly or wrongly transferred that same thinking in to my fitness journey thinking the more data I had on how I trained, how I felt, what I did etc would give me more valuable insights and make me a better athlete. I persevered for some years with this too using not only Garmin but Whoop as well. When sleeping, I could feel the sensors under my devices flickering in to my blood system tracking all my humaness :rofl: only to wake in the morning and see that I had had a crap sleep due to the thing that was actually measuring my sleep. There have been many times I have literally removed the devices during the night to then fall in to deep healthy REM sleep. It’s been a journey and finally I am done with all of these devices measuring my ability. There is a lot to be said about training to RPE. As my cycling mate says “Behaviour first, thought, feelings, perceptions follow”. He just gets up, gets it done and knows about 10-20 mins in the to the workout if it’s going to be a good training day or not and then customise it accordingly (ie Zone 2). Our bodies are pretty good at telling us how we feel and whether we should push or not. Don’t get me wrong - there is definitely a place for all these health metrics that can assist in keeping humans fit and healthy but when it negatively affects one’s mental health to the point of stressing over what the numbers will look like in the morning, then back to the old principle of KISS 'Keep it simple Stupid". That’s why I’ve jumped across to Wahoo as it has none of that and for me personally, I love that. I just get up, get on the bike (or run or swim) push the button and track the workout and do it all to RPE mainly and then look at the workout data at the end with no influence of Wahoo telling me if I should have trained that way or not. It remains silent for my training and just tracks it accurately, efficiently and effectively.

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I got a Roam v1 in the Black Friday sales to replace my Edge 530 as the altimeter had given up on the latter (there are few things more irritating than being told you’re going downhill while grovelling up a 15-20% incline). I have not a single regret.

The Roam is easier to setup (via phone) and use and its rerouting capabilities when I take a wrong turn are light years ahead of the Garmin (which would invariably just tell me to turn back).

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Anyone have feedback on Bolt vs Roam? Is the Bolt a scaled down version of the Roam? My partner has a Hammerhead but I’d prefer to stay in the Wahoo family. My birthday is coming so may ask for one….hmmm, wonder if he’d buy me a Kickr bike? :thinking:

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Yep. Garmin Edge computers used to provide just data recording and nav (I started with a 705 in '10 and now on an 840). They’ve since added a bunch of performance/training metrics. A big problem for me is that I can’t find anywhere how they’re calculated, so it’s hard to know exactly what they mean, how to use them, and if they’re reliable. So, I don’t base any of my training or activities on them and only look at them for their amusement value.

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Wait until you get a recommended 851W FTP. I was quite entertained by that. Not even World-class athletes can sustain it. However, my 830 retains reliability so it is staying until it dies.

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Hahajahah, I got a nearly 2000-watt FTP recommendation once. I have never forgotten to calibrate my PM since :rofl:

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I use garmin’s Body Battery as an excuse to avoid unpleasant activities late in the day.
“I’d love to mow the lawn after dinner, but my watch says I need to rest”.
Another “objective” piece of data to support doing what I want…

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As the old saying goes, “First draw your curve, then plot your points.”

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There is a comparison table on this page (scroll down a bit): https://www.wahoofitness.com/devices/bike-computers - they look pretty similar in most respects.

I have the ROAM v2 and the BOLT V1, so can’t offer personal experience comparing the ROAM V2 with the new BOLT. I’ve been very happy with the ROAM, it’s a great computer. The BOLT has not been used since I bought the ROAM, but I’d happily use the BOLT again if I needed to.

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Thank you Sir Wayne

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