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by Ronan Mc Laughlin
November 17, 2020
Photography by Wahoo Fitness
Wahoo Fitness has today announced the Elemnt Rival, the first GPS multi-sport watch from the traditionally more cycling-specific company.
Wahoo has launched the Rival with a host of features specifically for the multi-sport athlete such as swim metrics, advanced run dynamics when paired with the TickrX heart rate strap, and the new touch-less transition feature. The Elemnt Rival also gets all the features you would expect from a Wahoo head unit, namely GPS data, and the ability to connect external heart rate, cadence, and power sensors.
Interestingly though, it is the addition of an optical heart rate sensor, pedometer, smart notifications, ambient light sensor, and broadcast heart rate which make this a viable option for cyclists and multi-sport athletes alike. Additionally, the Rival offers a generous battery run-time that’s said to be good for 14 days in watch mode and 24 hours in GPS mode.
The Elemnt Rival offers many features including an optical heart rate sensor.
Wahoo has backed up these performance features with a balanced design that catches your eye without being obnoxious. Available in both black and white, the Rival is the first multi-sport watch to feature a ceramic bezel which is said to be more durable than the plastics used elsewhere. The Rival appears to be made with durability in mind throughout with chunky, robust-looking straps and buttons.
The Rival has a ceramic bezel, chunky straps and tactile buttons.
The Rival is built upon the same platform as the bike-going Elemnt, Elemnt Roam and Elemnt Bolt models. Wahoo has also employed the popular Elemnt companion app, which harnesses the power of your smartphone for initial setup, day-to-day running of the Rival, and in-depth post-workout analysis.
The Rival also gets the popular zoom feature from the Elemnt bike head units. This allows users to zoom in and out on data fields as required, meaning fewer pages to scroll through. The app automatically transfers workout data to third-party apps such as Strava, TrainingPeaks, Today’s Plan, etc. after each workout. All told, the basic functionality should be well known to anyone who has used an Elemnt previously and quite intuitive for those new to the platform.
The Rival pairs with Wahoo’s exisitng Elemnt Companion app for setup and post ride data review.
Undoubtedly the Rival has been designed with multi-sport athletes in mind but it also offers cyclists an option when it comes to workout data collection. An out-front display may well be more practical while cycling, but the Rival could be a more versatile answer if cycling is not the only activity you wish to track.
Up until now, Garmin has ruled the roost in the multi-sport watch game, with competitors such as Polar and Suunto far back in the distance. Having clearly taken their time to bring the Rival to market, it’ll be interesting to see whether Wahoo can repeat on the success it’s seen in the head unit game.
The Elemnt Rival is priced at US$379.
The Rival will hand off workout data to an Elemnt head unit when paired to the same companion app. Perfect for triathlon or turbo training.
As you might expect with a smart- or sportswatch the Rival requires a proprietary charger.