Recent Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS/Route problem [bogus off-route alerts]

I’ve been using a Bolt for ~15 months and it’s worked flawlessly, including an end-to-end across France where everyone else’s Garmins were playing up continuously. That was then…

I bought a Varia a couple of weeks ago and paired it up with the Bolt, and since then I’ve had a specific recurring problem following any Route.

NB it’s quite possible (probable) the Varia pairing and usage is merely a coincidence, but I mention it here because it (or the Bolt firmware update that made it possible) are the only obvious things that have changed in my setup and usage pattern

THE PROBLEM:
While riding a Route (created in Komoot), as I approach to within a couple of hundred meters or so of a Cue point, the Bolt will often flash the red LEDs and give an audible warning that I’ve gone off route.

I haven’t gone off route, and the map shows me bang on route, but the visual and audible warnings say I’m off route, and the “Distance to Cue” field temporarily goes blank ("-") as it does when you legitimately go off route.

These bogus “off route” warnings are immediately followed by the Bolt signalling (via LEDs and sound) that I’m back on route, and the Distance to Cue field shows the correct distance. This off-route / back-on-route sequence might occur between one and half a dozen-ish times as I approach a cue point, and occasionally after the cue point.

NB I ride mainly down empty lanes and there are no cars around when this is happening, ie. I’m not confusing radar warnings for off-route warnings.

I’ve ridden 3 or 4 rides in the past week or two where this problem occurs (and it’s occurred on every ride since the Varia install), all along familiar roads which never previously caused the GPS/Route functionality to trigger any bogus off-route warnings. Now, it seems that about 25-40% of my route cues trigger these bogus warnings. It’s a right PITA, bleeping away at junctions like Space Invaders…

Anyone else seen or heard of problems like this? Thanks!

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I had something similar on my ELEMNT when I did a week long trip in Japan a couple of years ago, so maybe something to check. The ride leader mentioned checking the Japan maps on the unit to see if they were up to date. They weren’t so after I downloaded the maps (via the app and wifi), my problems pretty much went away.

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Thanks Tony, I’ll try updating maps.

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I’ve had a similar experience on the last ride I did on my elemnt (not bolt) - constant off route warnings combined with the red led at the top.

I’ve also just added a varia - however I didn’t have this behaviour on the first two rides I did - only on the last one ( it’s also definitely not an off route warning not the varia)

All three rides were largely the same roads - although different routes - all created with ridewithgps.

Hello ! I have the exact same problem with the Bolt I have bought 3 weeks ago.
The Bolt flashes the red leds 150-200 meters before every singe turn, and then it goes back on track as I take the turn. I also sometimes have some red leds “off-route” alert on straight roads, and I see no reason for that.
The routes are designed by me on RideWithGPS and Komoot (cuesheet enabled) , it seems to make no difference.
I have no sensor on my setup, so your problem is it’s most likely not Varia related.
My bolt woked flawessly the for the 15 first days, but now I have had this bogus off-route alert on my last 4 rides.
Tried a factory reset, but the problem remains the same.
I’ll keep you informed here if I found something.

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I’ve also noticed this in the past week but thought it was just bad data from a ridewithgps route that I made, so I thought it was just me. Sounds like something is up. No new varia yet, but planned.

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I’ve been in touch with Wahoo who said they’ve had a number of reports of this issue, which is good news, as “safety in numbers” tends to lead to issues getting resolved more quickly!

I’d recommend that anyone who’s experienced this issue recently, and who’s not already done so, files a report with Wahoo Support. Thanks.

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I’m curious if everyone is on the latest firmware. It does have something related to off-route re-routing. I did a 6hr ride this past weekend with the 26 August 2019 Firmware and Varia (ridewithgps route) and don’t remember any odd off-route notifications. Might be that the latest firmware ‘improvement’ created this behavior. Like @AldridgePrior said above… let them know.

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Good spot re the WB15-5525 - 3 September firmware update!

Added: Re-routing improvements when a rider re-joins a route after going off course

I am on this 5525 firmware, and the problems have only occurred on this FW version to my knowledge.

With that in mind, it does seem very possible (probable) that the bogus off-route alerts are unintended side-effects of whatever improvements the developers were intending. Perhaps - near to Cue points in particular - they’ve decreased their “off-route” distance tolerance, leading to these frequent bogus alerts. Or something.

In my case, the alerts have been occurring in open countryside, free of trees or other potential signal obstructions, and while seeing a GPS Accuracy field value of 2 generally.

@Hamilton237 Thats indeed a very clever point :+1:.
My firmware version is the latest (WB15-5525). The release date is 3 September, 2019 and as far as I remember, I didnt had the off-route issue before this date :thinking:.
I wonder if there is a way to downgrade to the previous firmware version…

There is, but I’m not aware of a simple, average-consumer-accessible method to roll back.

The Bolt is an android device and you can connect to it through adb. So, the old firmware could be side-loaded to the bolt over USB. Its not a hard process, but there is a small risk of doing something wrong and ending up with a brick.

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Here you can see the Problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOvQre29_bs

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Was out on the road this morning and this exact thing was happening! Quite annoying.

After contacting Wahoo Support over this, they enabled Verbose Logging on my Bolt and had me do a ride where the problem manifests (dozens and dozens of times on that ride, in fact), so they now have a bunch of data from me to help them investigate it.

Again, I’d recommend anyone experiencing this issue also contacts Support in order to raise its profile and accelerate a fix being delivered.

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Hello ! I just did the same. I was able to send them some logs where the problem occurs dizains of times (on a 5km ride…)
I hope they will give us a fix soon.

This is probably it. I also have noticed getting off route alerts when on route but close to a turn. The older software was pretty insensitive to going off route: if you missed a turn, it would take a while to “notice”. Probably in trying to improve that, they pushed the sensitivity too high for before turns.

My Bolt was updated in the last week and I now get constant off route alerts just before junctions. Have ridden the course multiple times before with no issues so hopefully fixed soon…

So…I think I know what’s going on here. I first noticed this two weeks ago and spent a decent portion of my mental energy during a ride this past weekend trying to track the beeps

Here is how I think the new audio and light based navigation alerts work on the bolt

When you are approaching a sharp turn it will give you the old ‘off course’ audio alert and red flashing lights.

It does this both for turns that might be part of your route (i.e. turn right onto Miller Lane) or for a sharp turn in a road you’re on (i.e. a switchback or anything of around 90 degrees or more). Worth noting it doesn’t do it for turns (either on route or turns in the road) that are milder - so if you come to a Y intersection you won’t get the red lights even though the route may say ‘Turn right onto Street ##’

Since this sound and light pattern was previously only used for off course we are all mistaking it for an off course alert - but in reality it is just their new pattern for ‘sharp turn ahead, pay attention dumbo’

For my ride on Saturday the above was absolutely the pattern it followed - I haven’t gotten onto a second route since, but hopefully someone else can confirm on their unit sometime this week

That makes some sense… but it seems odd that they would add that as a new feature without describing the behavior somewhere.

Your observation does make me wonder if it is seeing the route after the turn & deciding that the current location is off of that route point. This error would be more prevalent with sharper turns. So you are on one route segment before the turn and simultaneously off of the next segment after the turn. The former should overrule the latter. Regardless, I hope this is a quick fix. If it is a new feature, i hope we can disable or adjust the sensitivity.

I don’t think Wahoo will view this as a defect, I don’t think the Bolt is viewing you as off-route at all. It is simply a new type of alert they’ve added to route navigation.

Ideally they’d add in the option to configure which types of alerts you want to receive and when you want to receive them but that would be the next enhancement they’d need to add