Wahoo's first generation of ELEMNT computers was focused on ease of interface for the user. The ELEMNT BOLT Computer expands this ethos of hitch-free operation to the realm of aerodynamics, as in: the Bolt's revised body shape reduces drag. In retrospect, this makes obvious sense. The computer is hanging off the front of your bike, effectively replacing the handlebar as the leading edge of aerodynamic drag. Despite this, drag has been a surprisingly low priority for most head unit manufacturers, and the computers have grown ever block-headier as technology like GPS, wireless metric gathering, and the myriad compatibilities we expect consume require more and more hardware space. Like it did when it made simplicity of use top priority, Wahoo is now elevating aerodynamics while simultaneously lowering the bar for entry, price-wise. Less drag, less cost, more simplicity, and virtually universal compatibility: the choice is simple.
The ELEMNT BOLT differs from its predecessor, the standard ELEMNT, in two key ways. It's smaller and more aerodynamic. These changes necessitate a smaller, less brilliant screen, but the computer's form lets you tilt it for best visibility from the saddle without compromising on aerodynamics. When set at zero degrees, the BOLT reduces drag by a claimed 50% over an unidentified competitor that we're fairly certain is a Garmin; when titled to six degrees, this number jumps up to 60%.
In terms of the complete bike, that number is relatively small (Wahoo puts it at 1.5% in net drag reduction); however, that 1.5% means that your head unit isn't effectively undoing some of the gains you made with 50mm rims, a NACA-shaped handlebar, those ever-evolving tube shapes, etc. In any system, every piece is important. This holds true for the total aerodynamic footprint of a bike, and the ELEMNT BOLT provides one of the few missing pieces towards total aero-awareness.
Of course, no aerodynamic gain is worth sacrificing any of the functions that we expect or rather, that we now require from a head unit. By carrying over all of the user-friendly features and compatibilities of the bulkier ELEMNT, the BOLT doesn't disappoint. First, it reads your body. Power, heart rate, speed, cadence even muscle oxygen. If you have the sensor, it can display the data. Second, it reads your drive-train, displaying data from Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS, and even FSA's new WE system. Third, it reads your phone and friends, displaying text and call alerts and live tracking your friends. Fourth, it reads your ambitions, letting you custom-map data fields, training plans, and routes and live-syncing with online apps for the purposes of segment hunting.