Another "Kickstarter" computer...

Chat about Hammerhead's Karoo in general.
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dthempel
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Another "Kickstarter" computer...

Post by dthempel » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:58 pm

Interesting comments from DCR about Karoo sprinkled in among this "preview":

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/06/fir ... puter.html

JohnJ80
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Re: Another "Kickstarter" computer...

Post by JohnJ80 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:12 pm

After being an early adopter on the Garmin Edge 1000, the Wahoo ELEMNT, and now the Karoo - I can say I’ve learned my lesson. No new bike computers until they’ve been out at least a year. That would actually seem to be somewhat risky if you believe what users are saying on the FB Edge 1030 forum.

These guys sound to me like they’re going down some of the same wrong paths Hammerhead did at the start.

From a hardware perspective, that wireless only charging plan is just plain stupid.

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Re: Another "Kickstarter" computer...

Post by dthempel » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:28 pm

It wasn't an endorsement, only an entry point for discussion. Several of us have come to the same conclusion about Karoo's outsourced initial software development in that they now don't (seem to) know how to -- or be able to -- iterate quickly on it. The whole "by cyclists, for cyclists" rings hollow when we see or experience silly things that no one who rides their bike and records their data regularly would do. I also have no interest in plunking down $500 for something un-tested. The $300 for Karoo was enough and it works well enough for me -- ::knock wood:: -- that I'm not completely unhappy. It's on my bars all the time now. Partly because my 510 feels ancient and partly because the Karoo does usually work fine. I still can't/don't recommend it now at $400 to anyone who asks. A friend got one off eBay recently and that seems like a reasonable way to go. If the software was better and it met more of the lofty goals from way-back-when, I might be more inclined to give it the nod depending on use case...

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Steve
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Re: Another "Kickstarter" computer...

Post by Steve » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:18 pm

Some interesting comments in there from DCR, agreed.

That "wireless charging only" thing screams "gimmick" to me. I'm sure they'll change their minds before final release (otherwise they're going to get slated).

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Re: Another "Kickstarter" computer...

Post by JohnJ80 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:36 pm

I also don’t think the buttonless interface is the right answer. No matter how good they think they can make the screen in the rain, it just won’t be good enough. Having to take your eyes off where you’re going to try and fix the problem on the fly is setting up for a disaster. And usually, when touchscreens get wet and screw up, the results are bizarre.

But gimmick, or not, wireless charging is one of those things that no one who has ever used a bike computer for legitimate cycling would ever even consider. So that leads me to question if even the architects of the thing are cyclists. Commuters? Sure. Cyclists? No.

I’m in agreement with you on the operation of the Karoo. It’s meeting my needs now and it stays on my bars. Once I upgraded my Stages power meters to gen3, my problems largely disappeared. When I did some further testing with gen2, I found out that the Karoo would drop out as little as a 1m away. When i checked with my gen3, it was 5+ meters. So part (most) of this problem legitimately belonged to Stages and explains why they were so eager to replace my power meters even though one was out of warranty. That said, TbT is better but not there but I’m probably more of a breadcrumb trail user anyhow. Upcoming elevation is cool and I find I’m using that a lot especially when we’re riding in the mountains.

As for Karoo pricing - I’m mixed on that. On one had, the 1030 is just outrageous at $600 (or $579 on sale). And if you follow the 1030 FB group, it seems the experience is degrading. Things that worked, regress in the next update etc... (sound familiar?). So I’d sort of expect similar problems with the 530 and 830 and we’ll be hearing about that soon. Impressive that DCRainmaker came out at them with his “Garmin’s biggest competitor is their buggy code” blog post. That sort of shoots holes in the notion that Garmin is “doing it right.” When one of the top bloggers goes after the market leader who holds 95% market share, things can’t be good (which was my experience pretty much).

I think that given the 1030 and the 530/830 pricing, Garmin is more after hounding the competitors than pricing it to “what the market will bear” and their primary target is Wahoo despite it looking like Wahoo shot themselves in the foot with the ROAM. The ROAM is looking more and more and more like a flop. Not only for Wahoo’s miss but then adding in the Garmin pricing on top of that. Big Ouch for Wahoo. Realistically, if that battle were not in play, the $399 from HH is probably fine. Especially so if they improve their reliability beyond Garmin for the features they support. I’d rather pay $399 for a Karoo that is reliable and solid than $279 for a 530 that is buggy.

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