A Day of Rest …

Today is a rest day. I am itching to get on the bike but my will power is strong. Rest days are very important.

The temptation to ride is even greater in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic. I have no idea when the government will lock me in my house and drive me screaming up the wall. The routes that I ride around home are deserted at the best of times, the perfect place to exercise in isolation.

One blessing of the restrictions is that  my travel budget is available for repurposing. That computer my bike was lusting after is now in reach. An alternative reading of that sentence would be – The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt was on special and I bought it. I suspect it was on special to knock down stocks prior to release of something even more desirable but hey.

So here is the written version of an unboxing video. It came in a box and I took it out.

It’s quite easy to set up using the app which you download on your phone. It talks to a variety of peripherals such as a cadence meter, heart rate monitor or power meter. Did I mention that my bike was very keen that I should get a heart rate monitor and I got the Wahoo Kickr?

I now have speed, distance, time elapsed and heart rate displayed on the front page of my very aerodynamic and light weight Ellemnt. This is a minor reorganisation from the default settings and easily achieved. The screen is tiny but these metrics are quite legible. A couple of button pushes bring you to the maps page. This is where the screen size limits functionality. Street names are not given. If I were lost I would reach for the phone  in my pocket before trying to plot a route on the Bolt. Having said that I wouldn’t want to be riding around with an iPad on my handlebars.

Turn by turn navigation can be set up prior to a ride in Strava or elsewhere and downloaded to the machine. I haven’t used that feature. I understand that the route  can’t be modified en route.

After the ride the Bolt talks to the app on your phone which will talk to Strava if you wish. It’s a bit different from dealing with Strava direct – you don’t get to name the rides or decide how private they are. Within the Wahoo app you can review your speed at any point, see where you were in a climb at that moment and check your heart rate. It gives a nice breakdown of how long you spent in the various heart rate zones and provides an approximation of the calorie expenditure. I like it.

The Kickr is easy to use. It’s a chest band monitor. You wet the two areas that pick up the signal and fasten it round your chest, just below your nipples for boys, just below the breasts for girls. Mine has stayed in place very nicely. I think the extra information this gives makes planning your training much more purposeful.

Which is much more than I would say for a cadence meter. Yes there is probably an ideal cadence but this varies from moment to moment depending on conditions. In the long run you will change gears by feel. Anyone who gets back from a ride and pores over their cadence needs to discuss the issue with a psychiatrist – in my humble opinion.

On the other hand every serious bike racer these days uses the power meter as the most accurate way to measure their effort and plan their training. It’s also the most expensive of the monitors. I have not yet succumbed.


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