Wahoo RFLKT: Second Screening on Two Wheels

Wahoo-RLFKT

I’m an avid cyclist, so I’m constantly on the look out for great tech that can make my life better. We even published a handy guide. So I was delighted to get my hands on the RFLKT iPhone bike computer – a cycling computer that harnesses the power of your smartphone (provided your smartphone is an iPhone).

Slightly larger than a regular cycling computer (the case reminded me of a mini-DV), the Wahoo RFLKT is incredibly easy to set up as you just hit a button and it pairs with most cycling apps on your phone. It’s also very easy to install – either in an ostentatious fashion on your handlebars or in a discreet gentlemanly manner on your stem (using rubber bands!). Both are quick and effortless but if you live in an crime ridden city you’ll need to carry the metal removal key around with you. It’s hard to casually remove RFLKT without the key which should deter the casual thief, so gauge the motivation levels of your local larcenists as you park.

The RFLKT wirelessly receives all app data and ride information from the iPhone via low-power Bluetooth 4.0 technology. My iPhone battery is unreliable to the point where I don’t leave the house without back-up power and want to set the ring tone to “Why Does It Always Drain On Me?” but riding around all day with RFLKT (playing MGMT) didn’t have any significant impact on battery life. The RFLKT runs on a single coin-cell battery which should hold out for a year.

RFLKT reflects your iPhone screen so you can operate your favourite iPhone cycling app, switch between screens, start or stop intervals and even control iPhone functionality such as music playback, while your iPhone remains safely out of sight. There’s even a little light for when you’re riding at night.

I have a perennial problem with apps such as this in that I listen to music through Spotify or the Podcasting app so every time I hit the music playback album iTunes would kick in. That’s a minor gripe. And because I’m spoilt I really wanted this to be a touch screen – I kept swiping at the screen – even though many cyclists wear gloves making this a stupid idea. A clock face would have been nice – but not essential.

The app relies on your iPhone’s GPS for data, making it accurate overall but leading to wild jumps at times – the occasional glance at the screen will make it seem like you’re breaking the speed limit. You can plug RFLKT into Wahoo’s wider eco-system of accessories- they have a heart strap monitor and cadence sensor if you really want to drill down on data. But if you’re a little less hardcore the RFLKT is an excellent entry point into cycling metrics.

The Wahoo RFLKT is priced at £119.99 and is available from the end of June from the Apple store, and www.wahoofitness.com.

January’s get fit schedule just got smarter with the Wahoo Fitness Blue Heart Monitor

I don’t know about you but with all this drinking, too many late nights and excessive eating, I felt like bypassing the New Year and beginning the January detoxing early – perhaps it’s just my age! Although if I want to exploit the get fit advantages of the Wahoo Fitness Blue HR Heart Rate Monitor, the world’s first Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Monitor, I’ll have to wait until mid-January, when it’s released.

BlueHR

The ‘proper’ unveiling of this innovative device will apparently take place at CES 2012; although that hasn’t stopped a whirl of excitement flurrying around the net since Wahoo Fitness exposed its Blue HR press release.

In “harnessing the power of Bluetooth Smart Ready Devices”, the Blue HR will effectively transform your smartphone into an all-in-one training partner, and given that an all-in-one training partner is what our poor neglected bodies are all crying out for in January, Wahoo Fitness’s timing of the Blue HR release is impeccable.

In using the latest in Bluetooth Technology, the Blue HR is able to communicate directly with Bluetooth Smart Ready Devices, including the iPhone 4S. Being in full support of various Wahoo Fitness’ app partners, including several of the most popular fitness apps, such as Runmeter, MotionX, 321 Run, RunKeeper and MapMyFitness, users will have access to heart rate data, music playlists, their phone, GPS maps, etc., all in one place.

In generating heart rate data in real time, the Blue HR provides highly accurate readings of the number of calories you have burned during a workout. Blue HR users also have the option of purchasing a Wahoo Armband, which provides protection for your iPhone 4S with full touchscreen access, and, of course, as the device relays heart information via Bluetooth Smart Technology wirelessly; no key or additional hardware is needed.

According to Wahoo Fitness, virtually all new smartphones in 2012 will include the Bluetooth V4.0 technology that is all Bluetooth Smart Ready devices and that the Blue HR marks the first release of a Bluetooth Smart app enabled accessory for the iPhone 4S.