Wahoo Fitness RPM Cadence Sensor Review

by Brian Mullin on August 4, 2014

The
Wahoo Fitness RPM is a dual band cadence sensor that can pair with both
Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ devices. It attaches to your crank arm with two
mounting options, a stick-on and a silicone sleeve with zip ties. The
$49.99 sensor is magnet-free and converses via Bluetooth to your iOS and
Android mobile device, and it’s now compatible with ANT+ devices,
opening up functionally to a slew of GPS computers and training specific
units. When using the Bluetooth  interface, you can pair the device to
mobile fitness apps, including Wahoo Fitness, Strava and MapMyRide so
that you can view, track and display cadence information. The sensor
weighs 7 grams and operates using a replaceable CR2032 3 volt coin cell
battery, which lasts for up to two years with normal usage. Instead of
using a magnet to determine the cadence, it uses an internal
accelerometer to determine circular rotations.

Initial
installation steps require installing the Wahoo Utility App on an iPhone
or Andriod device, and then shaking or rotating the sensor to initiate
Bluetooth pairing. If the RPM needs a firmware update, the App will
prompt you to do so when trying to pair the RPM to the App. The RPM has a
Blue LED that flashes during wireless connection searching and
discovery, and a Red LED during cadence detection, and after 30 seconds
the LED will turn off.

I attached the sensor using the stick-on method and placed it on the
inside of the non-drive side. I cleaned off the crank arm with some
rubbing alcohol, peeled off one side of the stick-on pad, placed it on
the sensor, peeled off the other side and firmly pressed the sensor onto
the crank arm. The clamp-on setup uses their two-piece holder for the
sensor along with zip ties for attachment, though I didn’t get a chance
to use that method during my test period. Depending on a bikes frame
geometry by the chain stays and the crank arm distance from them, you
might end up with a sensor on either side of the cranks. If desired, you can wear the sensor on your shoe as a footpod. 

You can install any
fitness App desired and paired the RPM to it, though the Wahoo Fitness
App was my preferred utility on my iPhone 5s. Pairing the RPM via
Bluetooth to the Wahoo Fitness App was simple and worked fine, and you
only needed to give the pedals a quick spin to initiate a connection.
With ANT+ devices, you just use their menu system to search for the RPM,
and add the sensor to the units memory. I tested with my superb Garmin Edge
1000 bike computer and easily added the RPM to the unit. The Edge 1000 was my primary
testing device, and during my test period I never noticed any prominent
dropout issues or inaccurate results. When doing some rough cross
comparisons with the RPM against the Garmin Edge magnet-free sensor
and the Wahoo Fitness magnet based BlueSC sensor, the differences were
minor and well within tolerances.

Bottom Line

I
liked the simplicity and ease of use of the wireless and magnet-free
Wahoo Fitness RPM cadence sensor. The stick-on application was a breeze
to attach, and the pairing to a smartphone or ANT+ compatible device
worked fine. The cadence data was accurate and didn’t have perceptible
dropout’s, making for excellent monitoring of current and historical
data. The benefit of the dual band protocol makes it functional for
Bluetooth based iOS and Android mobile devices and ANT+ training
devices, allowing the RPM to connect with a slew of units.

The
Wahoo Fitness RPM cadence sensor is an excellent wireless, magnet-free
and dual technology sensor which provides accurate cadence data to
Bluetooth and ANT+ devices.

For further information visit WahooFitness.com

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