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Does the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt support turn by turn for Strava Routes ?

Despite there being a lot of confusion an misinformation about this (even from Bolt owners), the answer is NO. Routes from Komoot and Ride With GPS DO however, provide turn-by-turn prompts.

Why the confusion ?

You can absolutely follow routes generated in Strava on your Bolt – and they’ll sync and appear on your device just like Komoot and Ride With GPS. This may lead owners, who have never actually used a Strava routes to believe they work in the same way. Or, there may be some confusion over ‘turn-by-turn’ vs ‘breadcrumb trail’.

The image above shows two levels of functionality.

  1. True ‘turn-by-turn’ – This is the prompt “150ft Cavendish Road”. These are the type of prompts you may be familiar with from the typical car sat nav systems. On the Bolt, these text prompts will appear on your screen when appropriate, but NOT whilst using Strava generated routes. Also, the LEDs can be configured to flash and indicate an upcoming turn. Again, this is ‘turn-by-turn’ functionality.
  2.  Breadcrumb Trail – This is the map of your current location and a chevron displaying the intended route. THIS is the ONLY guide you get with a route direct from Strava.

Can I still navigate using Strava routes then ?

Yes, you can. If the route has been synced directly from Strava, you would need to keep the Bolt on the ‘Route’ screen (or periodically switch to this screen) and monitor your current position relative to the chevron guide. You will NOT receive ‘turn left in 500 yards’ type prompts.

Why does it work this way ?

In short, the Bolt has ‘dumb’ maps. It know where you are relative to a map and it knows the GPS points in a route (hence the ‘breadcrumb trail’ ability), but it doesn’t know street names or ‘directions’ necessary to navigate the route. It relies on this information being present in the route data. Strava routes don’t contain this information – but Komoot and Ride With GPS routes do.

The Wahoo Roam, however CAN work out this information itself as it has ‘routing capability’ so WILL provide turn-by-turn from Strava routes.

I don’t believe you – when I plan a route in Strava it shows me a cue sheet, that has ‘turn left’ etc. prompts on it.

Yes, it does, but this information is not exported from Strava to the Bolt.

Wahoo’s own product page (https://uk.wahoofitness.com/devices/bike-computers) states :

Get turn-by-turn prompts with the Wahoo “Take Me Anywhere” feature on the Wahoo ELEMNT companion app and with all Komoot and Ride With GPS Routes that are on your ELEMNT BOLT

(Notice no reference to Strava)

So is there any way around this ?

If you primarily use Strava route builder, you have a couple of options:

  1. Just use the breadcrumb trail ability, you’ll be able to navigate the route fine, but you will need to keep an eye on that ‘Route’ screen.
  2. Generate the route in Strava to take advantage of it’s route planning functionality and then transfer the route to either Komoot or Ride With GPS to ‘add’ the prompts. Then you will have full turn-by-turn prompts. There are potential options to export and import the route between platforms, but you may find it simpler to ‘manually’ re-create the route in one of the other platforms.

Why don’t Strava just add this functionality ?

Who knows. There’s a lot of functionality that Strava could potentially add to the routing features, but that’s their decision.

Why is my friend who owns a Bolt telling me it DOES work with Strava then ?

As covered in the ‘Why the confusion section’, I suspect they are confusing what ‘turn-by-turn’ functionality actually is, or may be ‘assuming’ it works.

If you have access to a Bolt, you don’t have to ride far to prove this. Load a route from Strava, start cycling the route far enough that the Bolt thinks you are on the route (the LEDs should flash green). Now look at the ‘distance to cue’. It will just display a ‘-‘ in this field, because it has no cues (these are the turn-by-turn instructions). Do the same with a Komoot or Ride With GPS route and you will see a valid distance in this field because it DOES have the cues.

Is this information still valid, things may have changed with either updates to the Bolt, or Strava ?

It’s possible that this information may go out of date. Obviously Wahoos site is the definitive source, but don’t get mislead by broad features list. As we’ve seen, the Bolt CAN do turn-by-turn, just not with Strava. So look for mentions of this specifically.

 

Questions, comments ? Let me know below.