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Garmin Edge 540 & 840 vs. Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2 & Roam V2

The Garmin Edge and Wahoo Elemnt bike computers are very similar, making it difficult to choose between them. We’ll compare the most important differences to hopefully make the decision just a little bit easier.

Written by: TPC

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Two brands currently dominate the cycling computer market: Garmin and Wahoo. Garmin’s Edge computers have long been the industry benchmark, and it’s upped the game with its latest Edge 540 and 840 models which have introduced the option of solar charging to increase battery life. Wahoo disrupted Garmin’s dominance when it introduced its Elemnt Bolt and Roam computers, which could offer similar performance for less. Now it’s introduced the updated V2 versions of its Elemnt computers. 

These head units offer similar features and cater to similar needs, making it difficult to choose between them. We’ll compare the most important differences to hopefully make the decision just a little bit easier. 

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Garmin Edge vs. Wahoo Elemnt: Price

  1. Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2 - $279.99
  2. Garmin Edge 540 - $349.99
  3. Wahoo Elemnt Roam V2 - $399.99
  4. Garmin Edge 540 Solar - $449.99
  5. Garmin Edge 840 - $449.99
  6. Garmin Edge 840 Solar - $549.99

Garmin Edge vs. Wahoo Elemnt: Specifications


Screen Size


Battery Life



Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2

2.2 in

16 GB

15 hrs

68.4 g


Wahoo Elemnt Roam V2

2.7 in

32 GB

17 hrs

95.6 g


Garmin Edge 540

2.6 in

16 GB

26 hrs

80.3 g


Garmin Edge 540 Solar

2.6 in

16 GB

32 hrs

84.9 g


Garmin Edge 840

2.6 in

32 GB

26 hrs

84.8 g


Garmin Edge 840 Solar

2.6 in

32 GB

32 hrs

88.9 g


All current Edge and Elemnt head units feature:

  • Glass screens
  • USB-C charging (can also be charged while in use)
  • Ambient light sensors
  • Audio alerts
  • Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi connectivity
  • iPhone & Android compatibility

Garmin Edge vs. Wahoo Elemnt: GPS Navigation

As far as GPS navigation is concerned, there’s little to choose between the options. All have a clear map screen and good rerouting capabilities. All were about equally simple to upload routes. All provided clear and easy-to-follow directions. 

All use a form of multi-band GPS that is accurate enough for the needs of pretty much anyone. The Garmin Edge 540 and 840 use multiband GNSS and are slightly more accurate (we notice fewer errors in our tracked rides where our lines veer off the road/trail) than the Elemnt Bolt V2 and Roam V2, but only the biggest data geeks will notice or care. 

The only thing worth mentioning is how the touchscreen on the Garmin Edge 840 makes it easy to view maps, zoom in and out, rotate maps, and choose points to navigate to. 

Why Choose a Garmin Edge

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  • Advanced features
  • Battery life
  • Touchscreen (840)
  • Garmin ecosystem

Garmin is the current benchmark in the world of cycling computers and the Edge head units have undergone several generations of refinement. 

Where Garmin has a notable advantage over Wahoo is in its features and battery life. When it comes to features, there are literally more features than we can list here, and more than the vast majority of cyclists will feasibly use. Some newer features available on the latest Edge 540 and 840 that we like using include:

  • Freeride ClimbPro
  • Climb Explorer for finding nearby climbs
  • Power Guide race/training pacing
  • Training Status 2.0
  • Automatic suggested workouts
  • Phone-based configuration of data fields/data pages

ClimbPro gives riders a profile of the climb they’re riding so they know what to expect and how to pace. Garmin also has a wealth of training features. Many of the latest Edge software features are focused on some form of adaptive coaching.

Garmin Edge fatigue tracking

When used with a power meter or heart rate monitor, the Edge can help you manage efforts by providing power targets, plus stamina insights that let you know how much gas you have left in the tank. It also provides things like suggested workouts and Training Status which track your fitness and recovery to maximize your potential. 

Wahoo offers many of these same features on its Elemnt head units, but it was slower to release them, and in general, some riders don’t find them to be as robust or useful as Garmin’s version. 

When it comes to battery life, Garmin is the clear winner. The standard Edge head units have 9-11 hours more battery life, while the more expensive Solar versions provide another 6 hours of battery life on top of that. For riders who want to do epic adventures, this is a huge difference.

If you like to use a touchscreen, the Edge 840 is the only model here offering one. The touchscreen is the main difference between the 840 and 540, and it makes the Edge 840 head unit much easier to navigate through features, view maps, and customize pages. 

Finally, Garmin’s Edge head units connect to the Garmin Connect app, which means they integrate nicely into the Garmin ecosystem. This can be a benefit to riders already using a Garmin smartwatch for general health and fitness tracking. 

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Why Choose a Wahoo Elemnt

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  • Price
  • User friendliness/Ease of use
  • LED lights
  • Aero mount

The big draw of Wahoo’s current Elemnt V2 head units is lower price and greater simplicity. The Elemnt Bolt V2 is $70 less than the Edge 540, which is a significant amount for competing head units. 

While there is no touchscreen option, the buttons used on the Elemnt are dialed and very easy to use when navigating features and pages on the head unit. In comparison, the Edge 540 is much less intuitive, and the button layout can be very confusing and irritating to riders who aren’t expecting it. In many ways, Garmin’s interface seems more optimized for its more expensive touchscreen Edge 840 and 1040 models.

While the Wahoo Elemnt does have many of the same more advanced features for climbing (Wahoo’s version of ClimbPro is called “SUMMIT”) and training, in our experience, they don’t feel as refined as Garmin’s offering. They’re still perfectly usable, but if you’re a training geek, you will likely prefer the data, workouts, and coaching tools built-in to Garmin. 

For us, the Wahoo is a better choice for riders who need three key things while riding:

  • Data screens
  • Navigation
  • GPS ride tracking

If you’re less interested in being coached by your head unit and just want to ride, the Wahoo is hard to beat. 

Wahoo Elemnt LEDWe also like the programmable LED indicators built into the top of the Elemnt head units. These light up to provide extra warning about passing cars if your head unit is connected to a Garmin Varia radar, to indicate turns if you’re navigating, or they can be used to keep you in the target zone during workouts.  

The provided Elemnt mount is also nice because it fits flush with the head unit, creating a sleek, aero silhouette. 

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Final Thoughts

  • If cost is your biggest concern - We recommend the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2. This is the cheapest and simplest head unit that has the basic features most serious cyclists need. 
  • If battery life is your biggest concern - We recommend an Edge 540 or 840 Solar. The battery life is unmatched. These head units can handle ultra-long adventures with fewer charges.
  • If simplicity and ease of use are your biggest concern - We recommend the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2 or Roam V2. Wahoo’s buttons are more intuitive, navigating and customizing pages is easy, and we think riders with no experience with cycling computers will have an easier time picking up how to use these head units. 
  • If refinement is your biggest concern - We recommend the Edge 840 or 840 Solar. The Edge 840’s touchscreen is the most refined interface. In our opinion, the Edge head units also look fancier and carry more brand recognition. 
  • If training and health tracking are your biggest concern - We recommend the Edge 540 or 840. The training features are more robust and integration into the Garmin ecosystem makes tracking other health metrics a breeze. 
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