If you’re a regular reader of FitTechnica you’ll know that I reviewed the Wahoo Fitness RFLKT about a year ago, and you’re probably wondering why I’m looking at the device again. The answer is simple – this new RFLKT bundle includes a very clever cadence sensor, which rounds off the feature set nicely.
If you’re looking for a detailed rundown of what the RFLKT is and what it does, I suggest reading my original Wahoo Fitness RFLKT review, but in summary the RFLKT is a cycle computer that’s powered by your iPhone.
In the simplest terms, the RFLKT is what computing types used to call a dumb terminal – meaning that it simply displays the information that a remote computer is actually processing. So while your iPhone is crunching all that GPS and sensor data, the RFLKT is displaying all the information for you via a Bluetooth 4.0 connection.
Of course there’s no shortage of handlebar mount options for the iPhone, so you may be wondering why you wouldn’t just strap your phone to your bike rather than beaming the information to a RFLKT. The answer to that one is simple; if the worst happens and you crash, do you really want your £500+ phone to bear the brunt?
Also, if you read my recent Strava review you’ll know that the RFLKT plays nicely with third party apps too. So while the Wahoo Fitness app is pretty good, you can choose to use the Strava app instead, ensuring that your rides are instantly uploaded to your Strava dashboard.
But the real focus of this review is the Wahoo Fitness RPM cadence sensor, which pretty much rewrites the rulebook. If you’ve ever fitted a cadence sensor to your bike, you’ll know that getting it set up can be a tricky procedure. First you need to mount the sensor on your rear stay, and then strap a magnet to your crank on the non-drive side. You’ll then have to carefully adjust the sensor position so that it’s close enough to the magnet as it passes by to register, but not so close that it catches. Once everything is positioned correctly, you can tighten the cable ties attaching the sensor to the stay, and you’re ready to go.
With the RPM cadence sensor it’s far more simple. There’s nothing to strap to your stay, and there are no fiddly magnets to secure, and absolutely no tweaking and setting up to worry about. What Wahoo Fitness has done is create a sensor that measures each revolution of your crank via an in-built accelerometer, which makes it as close to plug and play as you can get.
You could, in theory, simply stick the RPM cadence sensor to the inside of your crank and head for the hills. But relying on sticky pads isn’t the best option considering the UK’s inclement weather. Luckily Wahoo Fitness has thought of that and supplies a rubber sleeve for the RPM. Not only does this sleeve keep it warm and dry while you’re riding through the rain, it also allows you to secure the sensor using a couple of cable ties to make sure it doesn’t fall off mid-ride.
The RPM uses Bluetooth Smart technology, so it should pair with most modern smartphones, and some sports watches, such as the TomTom Multi-Sport and Polar V800. It’s no surprise that the RPM cadence sensor is supported by the Wahoo Fitness iPhone app, but it was particularly good to see that it paired just as easily with the Strava app, allowing me to track my rides on Strava along with all the data I’d get using a dedicated cycle computer.
I tested the RPM alongside the Garmin cadence sensor that I already had strapped to my bike, and the results were pretty much identical whenever I glanced down and compared my Edge 810 to my RFLKT. So if you’re worried about the accuracy of an accelerometer based system instead of a magnet based one, don’t be. It’s also worth mentioning that the cadence sensor that ships with the new Garmin Edge 1000 cycle computer (review coming soon) uses similar technology.
The Wahoo Fitness RFLKT is still a clever little gadget for anyone that likes to use their iPhone as their primary fitness tech device. But the latest bundle with the RPM cadence sensor makes for an even more rounded package. Now, you’re really not compromising anything by using your phone instead of a dedicated cycle computer.
I think I still prefer the integrated nature and silky smooth functionality of the Garmin Edge 810, but that’s a far more expensive option. With price tag of under £110, this bundle really does make a strong case for itself if you’re an iPhone user and don’t want to splash out on a high-end bike computer.
- Easy to setup
- Simple design
- Sensor mounts in minutes
- Sensor pairs with any Bluetooth Smart enabled device
- Accurate real-time cadence reading
- No magnets
- No tweaking and aligning
- Works with Strava app
- Makes your iPhone a proper cycle computer
- Bundle is cheaper than the RFLKT was a year ago
- Could still use a better handlebar mount
- Navigation isn’t as slick as it could be
- Screen not as easy to read as some competitors
Manufacturer: Wahoo Fitness