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Wahoo RFLKT is a big win for cyclists

Michael Homnick | March 27, 2013
As both a tech fan and a biking enthusiast, I've always lusted after posh bike computers and other high-end cycling gadgets--so when we got our hands on the new RFLKT from Wahoo Fitness, I jumped at the chance to take it for a spin.

As both a tech fan and a biking enthusiast, I've always lusted after posh bike computers and other high-end cycling gadgets--so when we got our hands on the new RFLKT from Wahoo Fitness, I jumped at the chance to take it for a spin.

The $130 RFLKT bike computer is unique in that it relies on an iPhone for all of its data--it pairs with an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 via Bluetooth for all of its functionality. As a result, it gives you access to smartphone features that other bike computers don't offer, most notably the ability to switch your iPhone's music tracks wirelessly.

Specifically, the RFLKT is designed to interact with Wahoo Fitness's iOS app, which tracks your workout time, distance traveled, and speed; it can also connect with other sensors over Bluetooth to display your heart rate, cadence, calories burned, and more. By displaying all your ride data on the app, the RFLKT essentially turns your phone into a powerful bike computer capable of giving you a great deal of information.

And if you prefer to use another biking app such as Cyclemeter, you'll be pleased to learn that Wahoo Fitness says compatibility with the RFLKT is on the way for that app, as well as for Strava and others. (Currently the RFLKT is also compatible with version 3.0 of Wahoo Fitness's App for Cycling).

Information is power

The RFLKT is a rectangular device slightly smaller than a box of Tic Tacs, with four raised buttons (two on each side) for operating the menus and controls. Weighing 2 ounces, it measures 2.4 inches long by 1.6 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick. The back slides into a panel attached to an O-ring, which fits around either the stem or the handlebar mount on your bike.

The screen of the RFLKT is a monochrome LCD that measures roughly 1.75 inches by 1.25 inches. You can customize the screen to display the data you need most, just as you can customize which functions the buttons control. The RFLKT can access features of paired apps, or control functions on your iPhone (including music playback).

Because the RFLKT operates over Bluetooth, your phone (or iPad) must remain within about 5 to 10 feet of the device, which I didn't find to be a problem. To attach the RFLKT to your bike, you use the included screw to hold the O-ring in place, which is easy enough.

However, although you can keep the mount attached to your bike at all times, you probably won't want to leave the RFLKT in the mount, as it would make a mighty attractive item for thieves--who could easily remove it by prying it out of the back panel. This means you'll need to remember to bring the included "key" (read: metal stick) to pry out the RFLKT when you leave your bike unattended. A slight problem to have, but one worth noting.

 

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