Wahoo’s Elemnt Rival Smartwatch now available in South Africa

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The indoor cycling and training brand has finally added a Smartwatch to its product portfolio. (Photo: Wahoo Fitness)
The indoor cycling and training brand has finally added a Smartwatch to its product portfolio. (Photo: Wahoo Fitness)
  • The brand’s first Smartwatch is robust in style and offers very good battery life.
  • Industrial designers at Wahoo have chosen traditional menu buttons instead of a touchscreen.
  • It makes an ideal companion for Wahoo’s indoor trainers or dedicated triathletes and cyclists who like cross-training. 

Wahoo is renowned for its indoor cycling trainers and wearable activity tracking tech.

It was only a matter of time before the American brand launched a Smartwatch and its Elemnt Rival, revealed in November last year, is now available in South Africa.

Cyclists are harvesting huge volumes of ride and health data, thanks to the sophistication of wearable devices and superior battery technology capable of keeping them powered without adding too much weight. The Elemnt Rival is adequately large to offer an easily legible data display, without feeling burdensome on your wrist.

It is styled to look like a classic chronograph or diving watch, instead of an overly futuristic device. The Elemnt Rival’s silicone strap is designed not to chafe during vigorous exercise, and also resists perspiration triggered irritation on a long ride.

Wahoo’s Elemnt Rival Smartwatch in black and white
Wahoo’s Elemnt Rival Smartwatch in black and white. (Photo: Wahoo Fitness)

Classic ergonomics and an impressive battery

Wahoo has opted to not make its Smartwatch a touchscreen device, with five buttons controlling the menu navigation and functionality selection.

At only 53g it is very light and offers a 240x240 screen resolution. The Elemnt Rival also adapts to ambient lighting conditions, increasing the screen’s backlighting, which is rather handy if you happen to be on a late afternoon ride that transitions into night.

Powering the Elemnt Rival is an energy dense lithium-ion battery that offers generous useability. Employ the Elemnt Rival’s full GPS location and tracking functionality and it will last a full day and night, besting many rivals, who are unable to deliver peak functionality for 24 hours.

Used in the conventional digital wristwatch role, the Elemnt Rival has 14 days of endurance, before requiring a charge.

A slick design, structurally supported by a ceramic bezel and excellent waterproofing, makes the Elemnt Rival a convincing Smartwatch in appearance, but what can it actually do?

It can tell in great detail, how much your real-time suffering on the bike is worth: in an array of metrics. Altitude gains and losses are tracked by a meticulously calibrated barometer whilst an optical heart rate monitor tells you how hard you are working.

The Wahoo Elemnt Rival is priced at R8999 in South
The Wahoo Elemnt Rival is priced at R8999 in South Africa. (Photo: Wahoo Fitness)

Convergent with Wahoo’s indoor trainers

The Elemnt Rival does what most bike computers or heart rate monitors do. But if you find mounting and dismounting your expensive heart rate monitor annoying, or get anxious by the risk of forgetting that bike computer head unit on a table at the coffee stop, the convenience of a Smartwatch is notable.

By far the Elemnt Rival’s most impressive attributes are its excellent battery life and synchronicity within Wahoo’s broader ecosystem. Equipped with ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, this Smartwatch seamlessly pairs with the Wahoo range of Kickr turbo trainers, which should be of great benefit to the growing number of riders who find value cranking away in the privacy of their own living room.

Wahoo’s companion app allows for deep data analysis, after porting a workout from your Elemnt Rival. This Smartwatch is also capable of intuitively recognising workout transitions from a bike ride to swimming or running.

The Wahoo Elemnt Rival is priced at R8999.

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