Review: Wahoo Fitness RFLKT iPhone Powered Cycling Computer
The Wahoo Fitness RFLKT computer is simply a remote control and display for their cycling computer app running on your iPhone.
With so many of us using Strava or the like, being able to instantly upload rides and workout data to the cloud has turned many of our phones into our default cycling computers, too. Wahoo saw this, along with the pain of having a $400 device that we rely on all but 24/7 strapped to our handlebars. Out there. Unprotected. Vulnerable.
Their solution was the RFLKT, which, as the name implies, reflects what’s being recorded while also giving you control over your music. It’s nifty, but it’s also a bit pricey. Click on through and see if it reflects your own wants and needs…
BOX CONTENTS & WEIGHTS
For $129.99, you get a waterproof device that communicates with your iPhone 4s/5 via Bluetooth 4.0.
The kit includes an “out front” style mount, a traditional handlebar/stem mount, various adapters for smaller diameter bars and just enough instruction to send you to their website to really figure it out.
Depending on which way you mount it, you’ll end up with a total weight of 157g to 160g with an iPhone 5. The computer unit is so light because there are very little guts…it doesn’t have to do any of the data crunching or recording. Your phone’s doing all the heavy lifting. But, without its screen running for the duration of the ride, you’ll save a lot of battery power, making it useful for, you know, making a phone call or finding your way home.
It’s worth pointing out that you’ll need to be running the Wahoo Fitness cycling app, a free download from iTunes, to use the RFLKT. And that’s fine, because it’s a pretty darn good cycling app.
REVIEW & USAGE
The RFLKT is a handy device if your iPhone serves as your primary (or only) cycling computer. One thing left out of the video is that you can also customize the function of each button, including Play/Pause for your music and a Pause/Resume function for the workout, among others. Because it’s running through your phone, it’ll also sync up and report data from their Bluetooth speed/cadence sensor and heart rate monitors. It’ll also pull power data from Stages Cycling’s crank based PM (and, presumably, any other BT transmitting power meter).
There are also “Trigger Screens” that let you create a special page that the computer will jump to every time you hit the trigger button.
It’s a nice touch that they include the “out front” style mount in the box, seems people like that sort of thing these days. It’s also nice because, well, the other mount kinda sucks:
To install it, you need to remove the computer from the mount (which requires a small flathead), otherwise you’re never getting your fingers and the rubber straps over those hooks.
Mounting it on the handlebar actually required needle nose pliers to hold the band through the little hole while my other hand pushed it over the hook. You’d be better off putting it on the stem, except…
…the band broke overnight after just a couple weeks on the bike. Glad it didn’t happen on a ride. Basically, just use the out front mount and sling the bands at co-workers for fun.
Mounting grips aside, it’s easy to use once you figure it out. Instructions could be clearer, particularly about where within the app you change the settings and sync the RFLKT to your phone, but it’s easy enough to sort out. And, actually, digging through the app helps familiarize you with all of its features. They also have videos on their support page. They even have a Utility app that’ll run diagnostics on your Wahoo hardware.
Buttons are easy to push even with full finger gloves, and the display is clear and bright enough to view in direct sunlight. Besides prolonging battery life and keeping your phone safely within a pocket or pack, a nice feature of this system is that updates to the app are likely quicker and easier than plugging yet another device into your computer, downloading updates and installing. It’ll be cool to see what other functions they can build into the app to let the RFLKT control in the future.
Would we recommend it? If you’re already invested in Wahoo’s HR or S/C hardware, then yeah, sure. If you already own a good cycling computer or don’t have an iPhone, probably not.
The music in the video is from my friend Scott’s band, Moonshine Rooster, which rocks.