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Wahoo RFLKT is a big win for cyclists

Michael Homnick | March 27, 2013
As both a tech fan and a biking enthusiast, I've always lusted after posh bike computers and other high-end cycling gadgets--so when we got our hands on the new RFLKT from Wahoo Fitness, I jumped at the chance to take it for a spin.

To test the RFLKT, I attached it to my bike using the gadget's included handlebar mount and took off from my Berkeley, California, apartment for a ride through the city's bicycle boulevards and hilly neighborhoods.

Since I didn't have an additional peripheral device for measuring speed, I had to rely on my iPhone's GPS to measure how fast I was moving, which produced a few hiccups. While it was mostly accurate, I glanced down at the RFLKT's screen a few times to see that I was supposedly traveling at near-freeway speeds--I ride fast, but I'm not Superman. Although that wasn't a huge issue, the blips in speed readings did throw off my workout's top-speed measurement in the app, which was a bit disappointing. To measure speed accurately, you'll need an additional peripheral device.

Wahoo Fitness sells a $60 speed sensor called the Blue SC that works with the Wahoo Fitness app to provide cadence and pedal-power data. Additionally, Wahoo makes peripherals that include sensors for measuring heart rate and stride, among other things. These sensors, designed to enhance the app's capabilities, in turn enhance the RFLKT--essentially, since it is an extension of your iPhone, the RFLKT is only as powerful as the data fed into the app.

Even though my lack of additional Wahoo peripherals left a few blank data sections in the app, the RFLKT's exceedingly customizable interface made it easy to display only the information I had available on my ride. By creating custom page layouts within the Wahoo Fitness app, I was able to select the data I wanted to see. For example, I made two screens: one displaying my workout time, my speed, my max speed, and the currently playing track's title, and another showing the speed in larger text along with my iPhone's battery life.

On top of that, you can choose which of the RFLKT's four buttons perform certain functions, such as changing the music track and switching between displays on the device. Other functions the app offers include monitoring lap times, and starting and stopping the timer. Overall, the amount of customization allowed within the RFLKT's iPhone app is remarkable. Even so, while it has great potential to provide you with a wealth of information, it relies pretty heavily on additional peripherals for a lot of the data collection.

Protect your iPhone

The RFLKT's biggest plus comes from what it doesn't do--namely, it doesn't make you pull out your iPhone when you should be focused on cycling. It lets you keep that expensive piece of technology safely tucked away in a pocket or backpack while you're on the move, keeping your attention on the road. And although an iPhone has no place in wet weather or muddy conditions, the RFLKT is IPX7-certified weatherproof and shockproof, according to Wahoo Fitness.

 

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