Wahoo Fitness Rflkt: For iPhone-using bikers
Published on Jun 20, 2014 5:00 AM
The Wahoo Fitness Rflkt is the world's first iPhone-powered bike computer, according to its maker. It is for cyclists who need to keep their iPhones safe, inside a waterproof bag for instance, but still want their biking statistics displayed in real time.
Like Samsung's Galaxy Gear or Sony's SmartWatch, the Rflkt is incomplete on its own. It requires a Bluetooth connection to the Wahoo Fitness app - free on iOS - to work with the iPhone 4 or 5/5s, which support Bluetooth 4.0.
The rectangular device has a 2-inch (128 x 128 pixels) display with two buttons on each side: Top right for Start/Pause/Resume; top left for starting a lap; bottom left to get to the previous page; and bottom right to move to the next page.
The Rflkt module comes with an out-front mount, stem mount, a variety of adaptors for skinnier bicycle bars, four zip ties and a "manual" that tells you to go to its website for instructions.
Mounting the device on the handlebar using the out-front mount is simple: Unscrew, insert, then tighten the mount. The stem mount, which uses thick rubber bands, is not as sturdy as the out-front mount and may require zip ties to secure.
The Rflkt is easily paired with your iPhone. On the iPhone, turn on Bluetooth and launch the Wahoo Fitness app. Press any button on the Rflkt to power up. It automatically searches for an iPhone. When the Rflkt icon shows up, tap it to pair.
With the Wahoo Fitness app, you can configure or create your personal displays for the Rflkt. By default, the first page will display your speed, distance, cadence (crank revolutions per minute) and heart rate.
As I am using the Wahoo Fitness Blue SC sensor, the cycling speed and cadence are also loaded in pages on the Rflkt. If you have a Wahoo heart rate monitor, your heart rate will be displayed as well.
The Rflkt works as advertised, pulling up all the information that the app tracks and putting it on the screen in real time as I ride. I tried it with the much-loved Cyclemeter app, and it works perfectly as well.
It uses a CR2450 coin cell battery and is supposed to last a year. No need to worry about recharging.
But the Bluetooth link drains the iPhone's battery quite quickly. On a 45-minute ride, the battery went from 100 per cent to 73 per cent.
The Rflkt's backlight is switched off by default. You need to activate it using the Wahoo Fitness app, which is a bummer.
Finally, $179 is a lot to pay for essentially a reflection of what your iPhone is showing.
- The Wahoo Fitness Rflkt may be a bit pricey, but if you want to see cycling statistics while keeping your iPhone safe from the elements, then this is the device to get.
This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on June 18, 2014.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
Value for money: 2/5