May 22, 2015
If you're a cyclist who owns a smartphone, there's a decent chance you've used your phone to track some bike rides. Ride tracking with a phone makes a lot of sense. If you already have the phone, it's cheaper than buying a GPS unit or cyclocomputer and you can upload your ride information immediately after parking your bike without plugging anything into a computer. The only drawback is that often your phone stays tucked away in your back pocket, conserving batteries, safe from knocks and crashes, and hiding the display of real time data, like speed, distance, heart rate, etc., as you pedal along.
Over the years, we've seen plenty of smartphone handlebar mounts hit the market, but the problem with those is that they are specific to phone models. This means every time you get a new phone, you need to buy a new mount. They can also be bulky, and not all phone displays are easy to view in direct sunlight.
A cleaner solution to this problem can be found with the Wahoo RFLKT. Mounting to your stem or handlebars just like a traditional cyclocomputer, the RFLKT grabs the information that is being recorded on your smartphone and transfers it over to its own display for easy viewing. Wahoo has their own slick app for viewing ride data, but you can also feel free to use other cycling apps such as Strava or Map My Ride.
The stem and handlebar mounts included with the bike computer prove a little on the flimsy side. They work just fine for road riding, but I wasn't too confident about them off-road. I was happy to see that Wahoo also included a quarter-turn back plate, which lets you snap this into Garmin compatible mounts.
Both iPhone and Android smartphones are supported by the Wahoo RFLKT app. I was a little surprised to see that RFLKT takes a disc battery (CR2450), as it seems almost everything these days is charged up through a micro-USB cable. It does, however, boast a 12-month battery life, so who am I to complain.
The basic RFLKT comes in at $99.99, while the RFLKT+ will run you $129.99 and adds ANT+ capability in case you have any ANT+ heart rate or power data you would like to view and record.
Photos by Josh Tack
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling’s member services department. It appears once each month, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and offering advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh’s “Fine Tuned” column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.