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Gifts for Cyclists: 7 Reasons to Add the Karoo to Your List

Written by Reese Ruland

For many cyclists, we’ve been stuck with sub-par technology. The days of boring and outdated cycling computers are over. The Karoo is hands down the best cycling computer I’ve ever used. Here are some of the main features that set it apart from all the rest.

1. The Stunning Screen and Display

The Karoo’s incredible anti-glare screen and auto-adjusting display brightness are second to none. If you have ever used a touchscreen tablet or phone, you’ll know how to find your way around the Karoo. When the screen is unlocked, you can scroll, zoom in, and out, just as you would on say, your phone’s Google Maps app. Like a map on your phone, Karoo’s map is in color. You can zoom in enough to see the names of streets or landmarks. The streets are also color-coded to let you know what kind of road it is- highway, dirt road, trail, etc. The auto-adjusting display ensures that not only can you always see your screen clearly - in all light conditions - but also, maximize your 15+ hours of battery life. 

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2. Regular Software Updates

Hammerhead’s software team is constantly updating new features, which is great for riders. Unlike other GPS cycling computers, we don’t have to wait around for months on end to get a new feature or fix a bug. About every two weeks, the Karoo asks you to perform a quick update while you are connected to Wi-Fi. After it is downloaded and installed - right on your device - you have access to all of the newest software features. This brings me to one of my favorite features…

3. The CLIMBER Feature

As a cyclist living in Colorado, climbs are always a part of my rides. Whether you use a route or not, the CLIMBER screen pops up as you approach an incline. As you approach, the screen predictively informs you how far you have until the climb starts, how long the climb is, and how much vertical you gain. This feature tells you the average gradient of sections of the climb, as well as color codes the grades on a visual profile of the climb. It’s incredibly helpful to anticipate what’s ahead, pace, and push during my climbs.

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4. Boosted Workouts

Training got so much better - and easier to manage live - with Karoo. The user-friendly and easily customizable workouts player lets me see exactly what I deem important and notifies me of critical details exactly when I need them. I can still see the CLIMBER stats I need and can easily swipe through screens while Karoo keeps me on track. Not only can I see how I am performing in my current interval, I can see if I hit my last one and look forward to my future intervals (if there is such a thing as looking forward to interval training!). 

5. Seamless Navigation

I’ve already mentioned that the map feature is incredibly robust, so it comes as no surprise that the navigation on the Karoo is also top-notch. You can easily create or upload a route to the Karoo via your dashboard and easily set a surface preference: Gravel, Pavement, Trail - the choice is yours! With the help of the Hammerhead Companion App, once you’ve synced your Karoo, the route will appear on your device, with or without Wi-Fi. Karoo will even auto-route you to the start, if needed. Once you are following the route, you’ll get awesome turn-by-turn directions. Arrows will appear on any screen, so you don’t need to stay on the map screen 100% of the time. You can also view a full list of the turns that are coming up. If you want to change course at any point, it’s easy to route to a Google or Apple Maps pin directly from your phone with the help of the Companion App. While you’re there, share your LiveTracking link for ultimate peace of mind. 

6. Superior Connectivity

That constant improvement I mentioned above with the software updates? It also comes to life in the ever-expanding connectedness of Karoo to apps, sensors, and other tech. Karoo was designed alongside the all-new SRAM RED AXS drivetrain, so it’s no surprise the ride experience is top-notch. But that’s not all… Sure, it’s fun to program those bonus buttons, but it’s the ease of setup, the convenience of timely alerts for simplified battery management, and all of those seemingly small details that make it a wow experience. Rather than fumbling for hours to set up my device and connection, Karoo offers a single sign-on for AXS users - ALL AXS users - that allows me to sign in once and instantly see all my connected bikes and components in less than a minute. Truly magical! 

7. The Price Point

I can hear everyone shifting uncomfortably in their seats on this one... but hear me out. At $474.99 it isn’t the cheapest option, but compared to the other computers you can get at a similar price (Garmin Edge 840 at $450 and Garmin Edge 1040 at $599.99) the Karoo, in my opinion, offers more bang for the buck. You can create routes and sync directly with the Companion App - no Wi-Fi needed - not to mention all of the other awesome features already mentioned. From the screen, to the software, features, navigation and price, I’m a happy Karoo customer.

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