Wahoo RFLKT+ Bike Computer System Follow-up

I’ve been using and testing the Wahoo RFLKT+ Bike computer system since mid January of 2014 and I’ve posted several reviews of various software configurations. Some I liked and others I found lacking. The consistent factor in all of this is that the system is very finicky. It would work perfectly for a week then the following week it’s nothing but problems. Screen locking up, losing ANT+ sensor data, blank screens or failure to turn on are some of the problems I’ve encountered. For this reason I have to give the system a thumbs down.

I really hate giving the RFLKT+ system my thumbs down rating but I have no choice. Wahoo makes great products, I love my Kickr indoor trainer, the ANT+ dongle and the Bluetooth heart-rate strap. The RFLKT+ has so much potential if they can only iron out the bugs and do a better job of testing the software and firmware. It’s a lot to juggle, you got the firmware of the unit, the software (Fitness app), API for third-party applications and the iOS itself that all has to work together seamlessly.

What did it for me was going from one version of the Fitness app to another that fixed some bugs and improved the interface, but new bugs have cropped up that makes it unreliable. This is what makes it frustrating. The system has to be rock solid and work like an appliance. Cyclist don’t want to be rebooting, restarting, re-pairing sensors, removing the battery, to get it to work!

As of this posting I have the RFLKT+ with firmware 1.2.1 and using the Wahoo Fitness app v4.0.1. Results will vary depending what you have.

PROS

It’s not all bad. Like I said before, I really like the potential the RFLKT+ can provide. Less drain on phone battery, small in size, long-lasting battery, back-light, ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible, price and best of all customizable screens (with appropriate software).

Wahoo’s technical support is nice once you find the link to create a ticket. They are responsive, but there is only so much they can do if it is a bug in firmware or the app. I’ve used the ticket system several times to report bugs and hope they get resolved SOON.

CONS

The real deal breaker for me is that the system is unstable and unreliable at. When I say system, I’m talking about the whole package of hardware and software. They all have to be working in unison in order to get reliable and stable usage. It’s a real bummer to be out cycling and suddenly it stops recording. It’s bad enough when you are cycling by yourself, but when I’m in a group forget it, I just gotta turn off the unit and keep on going. Perhaps in a few months maturity will resolve those issues.

For now it’s a regrettable thumbs down and I’ll shelve it for a while and try it again down the road. The system needs more time in the oven cooking. If you do have one working as it should be then great! Enjoy it but maybe consider disabling any auto update so that you can preserve your setup. In the meantime hang on to your funds and wait.

Drop me a note on your experience with the RFLKT+, I would love to hear from you.

15 thoughts on “Wahoo RFLKT+ Bike Computer System Follow-up

  1. I’ve been using the RFLKT+ since October and did not have a problem until the app update to 4.0. It started to lose the connection and turn off, after updating to 4.0.1 it won’t connect at all. I have been in contact with their Customer Service and I’m told they are working on it. It makes me sad because it was the perfect solution for me, but I’m still hoping.

    • Yes! Version 4.0.1 of the Fitness app looks nice but very unstable. A new version of the software was released one or two days ago but I haven’t tried it yet. It’s version 4.1.0 and it is suppose to fix all those connectivity issues. Try it out and see how it goes.

      • Within an hour of posting my comment I received an email from Wahoo CS letting me know of the update. Will try it out tonight and keep my fingers crossed. Thanks.

          • The update did not resolve anything, still cannot connect to the Wahoo app. I even tried to ride with using the Strava app and the RFLKT+, but it kept locking-up or turning off during the ride. Waiting to hear back from CS on the next step.

          • Oliver,

            I had the same results too. Upgraded to the latest Fitness app and tried it again. It software locked up on the first ride! When I check the sensors on the app it show all of them stuck in search mode. Where do you carry the phone? Back pocket, saddle bag or on a handlebar mount? I’m wondering if the signal is two weak from the RFLKT and locks up when it loses the connection. For this setup I have mine in the saddle bag.

            Using the same app with the ANT+ dongle I can carry the phone in my back jersey pocket and not have any issues recording the ride or losing sensor connections.

  2. Hi Ray, could you post some screenshots of what the Strava functionality looks like on the RFLKT’s display? Strava mention their iPhone app now supports the device, but I can’t find images anywhere!

  3. Thanks for your blog; it’s helpful to know I’m not the only one having problems with the RFLKT+. The concept is awesome, and I’m convinced it will be the way of the future, but it’s still not stable and reliable like my Garmin products.

    I have used the RFLKT+ with the Wahoo Fitness App and also with Strava. Like you mentioned, many times I have to just stuff the RFLKT in my pocket and keep going because it freezes up or breaks lock or … something else. I carry my Garmin in my back pocket, so switching is no problem, but I’m trying to replace the Garmin.

    My iPhone is mounted on the stem just an inch or two away from the RFLKT, so I don’t have any distance or interference problems.

    I used it yesterday and today with the Cyclemeter app, and I have to say it worked perfectly – 2 days in a row! I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or not. I’m a daily rider, so I’ll keep testing it.

    Even if it continues to have problems in the short-term, I’m convinced one day soon (if they keep working on it and I believe they will), the RFLKT+ will be the way to go. Either that, or someone will come up with something like it ….

    • Hey KJ

      I agree, great concept and when it works it’s fantastic but when it acts up, ugh! Lately it’s been behaving nicely ever since I got a QuadLock case and bike mount. I got mine mounted near the front of the top tube as my stem is too short to mount it there. I had it lock only once so far.

      Just gotta keep on checking for updates. Just wonder how iOS 8 will affect it?

  4. Hi,

    I have RFLKT+ with 1.2.1a firmware and Yahoo Fitness app v4.2.2 and it has the same problem, loses connection and fails to connect again. It can successfully connect only after full reset of the RFLKT and also the phone, which is very frustrating…

    I believe that this can be fixed by SW update and let’s hope Wahoo fixes the bugs soon.

  5. If the rflkt+ is stuck on searching, just take the back off, remove and then replace the battery, this always fixes it. I have done this every software update.

    G

    • Gareth,

      That’s one of my complaints. You shouldn’t have to do that at all. I don’t want to be taking a small screwdriver when I’m out riding just to pop off the case and fiddle with the battery. The better solution is to either fix the problem or provide a pin hole reset button.

      It seems that the latest software and firmware patches seems to have resolved those issues along with placing the phone anywhere in front of your body.

  6. Ray – I’ve had similar reliability problems with my RFLKT+ and Samsung S5 phone – the two won’t connect at all. Very frustrating and seems to be a bluetooth issue. I’m heading out to buy a Garmin today !!

    • Hey Rod,

      I got three of those units sitting around collecting dust. I did buy the Elemnt from Wahoo and is expecting it soon. Can’t wait to give that a try.

Leave a Reply