Wahoo RPM – Review

It was just over a month ago that we shared the new Wahoo RPM cadence sensor, and in that first article, we mentioned that Wahoo had sent us an RPM. Since then, we have been regularly swapping the RPM between a number of test bikes as we put it through its paces. Just over a month later and our time with the RPM has come to an end, and we are happy to report on the results.

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But first, lets recap the RPM.

The Wahoo RPM

The Wahoo RPM is an extremely versatile cadence sensor designed to fit almost any cyclist’s needs. The RPM mounts to a crank arm, and is a single, self-contained package – no magnets needed. Instead, the RPM is uses accelerometers to measure cadence. The sensor itself is just slightly larger than the coin cell battery that powers it and weighs in at a svelte 6 grams (Wahoo claims 7g).

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The RPM ships with a silicon sleeve for mounting via zip tie or double-sided tape. The RPM can also be worn on your shoe for spin classes, which was one of our favorite features as it made for quick and easy bike swaps.

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Additionally, the sensor can be paired with both Bluetooth 4.0 and/or ANT+ devices, which opens a range of possibilities. Since we have been testing both the Garmin 910xt and Fenix2 (we typically use ANT+ based cycling computers), we stuck with ANT+ throughout this review process. However, for those with just a smart phone (iOS, Android OS 4.3 or greater) or a Bluetooth-enabled computer, the RPM would meet your needs as well.

Our Thoughts

The RPM has quickly become one of our go-to solutions in the AG garage. When paired with a GPS-enabled device we can have all the data we need (besides power) in a solution that requires no bike mounting. Considering that our editors have on average two if not three bikes to test per week, this is a huge win for us.

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From a data consistency point of view, our guts told us the data was correct. However, we did take the opportunity to compare the data against a Garmin Speed/Cadence sensor (that uses the traditional magnet approach). In our tests the RPM was paired to a Garmin Edge 500 while the Garmin Speed/Cadence sensor was paired to a Fenix2. In the chart below the RPM is up top.

Wahoo Top

RPM Top – Garmin Bottom

 

What we found was that the RPM had data very close to—but not exactly matching—the Garmin. The biggest thing you notice is how much more the RPM tended to peak and spike. We attribute this to the RPM being accelerometer-based, which can be impacted more by temporary changes in your pedaling motion than a magnet-based approach. This also led to a higher max cadence from the RPM – 101 rpm versus the Garmin’s 93 rpm.

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But with all things being taken into consideration, especially the similar profiles between the data and the ease of use of the RPM, we walked away from this review as a fan of the tiny sensor. It was easy to use and met all of our daily needs. If you’re in the need for cadence data and, like us, regularly swap between bikes, the RPM is definitely worth some serious consideration.

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One response to “Wahoo RPM – Review

  1. Pingback: 8-24-2014 WiR | AeroGeeks·

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