Karoo: a new appreciation




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    Hey Greg - Thanks for this feedback. All of these are very important for us to get Karoo to be the best in the industry. However, please do let us know of your issue in an email, later after your event - as I believe some of these issues can be easily resolved. And I would be happy to look into all of it.

    All the best from Hammerhead Team!

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    Rodney Martin

    I'd like to add to this comment by Greg, Karoo seems to be getting there, though slowly.

    I have looked back at my records of "another" brand, and seeing things like a ride average of 89 mph!! or a  heartrate max of 864, and  I realize, most of these small devices are "technology that's not quite there." We all expect a lot from these devices and the combinations to make it all work are actually beyond comprehension for most of us, it's easy to give up and throw rocks.

    I think Karoo will make it, I look forward to accurate TBT directions

    I'm happy to see the Karoo team fixing things, so I look forward to a great summer!


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    i think this post completely misses the point.

    i remember watching the tour of california, oh so many years ago, and as the garmin team support car went by, screaming, "garmin, fix the software!"  it was a constant refrain....

    software is hard; i get it; big deal...

    the promises/marketing of karoo made to us (or specifically how i interpreted it) are completely different than the delivered product.

    i vaguely remember, based on the linux/android operating system, it will allow myriad customizations.  even todays marketing blurp: " based on Android, making it open to limitless possibilities and third-party integrations alongside our native apps..."  is there even an SDK available?  hammerhead will not even allow  you to run an earlier version of the firmware.  i'm terrified to update my firmware for fear of making it worse than it already is.  many of us remember the battery debacle of a release back in november.  now, apparently the new UI on the current firmware stinks.

    and most cycling computers allow the same type of screen customization that you see in the karoo.  nothing special there.

    so we have a much heavier albeit good piece of hardware; with software that the battery goes from 30% to 0% in no time flat; and a promise from the developers that they know whats best.  have you read the forbes article?  apparently, the CEO (or whomever) envisions plotting your routes based on what other cyclists rode in your area.  using AI to tell you where to ride.

    none of this is what i signed up for or feel was promised to me when i was an early adopter of this product.  and i would NOT recommend it to anyone.

    that said, i think the customer service on this board as well as when you have problems with the product is quite good.  its just the direction and the choices that the people in power have made, i do not agree with.


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    Jeff Burke

    Reliability is the key word for me in this post.  My biggest issue is navigation.  Despite trying every workaround mentioned in these forums, I cannot reliably get TBT navigation.  For me, breadcrumb navigation is the only consistent navigation element.  This is fine on short rides, but longer rides this is a no-go due to battery drain constraints.

    It's a shame really because there are so many positives associated with the Karoo.

    I have a 55-mile ride this morning and unfortunately, the Karoo will be staying home.  Hopeful the next update resolves the TBT navigation bugs.

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    Steve Hammatt

    $399 for a very glitchy Karoo with tons of important features missing versus $299 for the new Garmin Edge 530 with all those features and more?

    Garmin have just blown Karoo out of the water.


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    Lance Deegan

    Garmin may finally have a world beater but its been a long troubled road for them as well as for Hammerhead. I bought the Karoo following 4 Garmin devices that can best be described as dogs and don't forget that Garmin still supplies only regional mapping. At least Hammerhead is working to fix the Karoo which is more than Garmin ever did. Would anyone like to buy an old Garmin device that's as bad as the day I bought it ? No ! Didn't think so.

    In my opinion, Hammerhead will have to bring out a new model eventually to address the following: Audible alerts, spoken cues, larger screen / smaller bezels, lighter weight, better battery life. I would drop the SIM card and add an SD card as well but others might think differently.

    Finally, can I complain about the limitations of Open Street Maps - great in Europe, not quite as good in other places and almost useless in China where I go regularly. It would be good to have some alternative mapping base available in a changing world. I know China has very detailed mapping but its not readily accessible. Even trailforks has far more MTB trails than OSM shows.

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    John Sievert

    I don't know if I'd say the Edge 530 blows Karoo out of the water, but it is definitely a potent throw down by Garmin.  It's attractive at the price point for sure.  DCRainmakers says that Garmin is fully intending to defend the price point and that the 530/830 are a solid shot - I agree.  That said, market leaders with dominant marketshare defend by increasing the risk of buying the upstart.  That means you're buying mediocrity if you buy the leader and Garmin is definitely qualifies as mediocre.  Just go and monitor the Garmin Facebook users groups to get a sense of that.  The good news is that bike computers as a market space are pretty crummy consumer electronics in general so the bar is not as high as it would be if Garmin had had more competition over the years. 

    Karoo has a few big advantages that need to be exploited quickly - the high res display (fix the formatting, add more layouts, fix graphical metrics, add more graphical metrics, add a dashboard layout editor), the Android OS (set up a curated app store asap and an SDK for programmers to modify their software to work on the Karoo - imagine a color weather radar overlay on top of the Karoo map, communications apps like Zello, podcast and music streaming), and the cellular modem (app store, connectivity future apps - this is something else no one else has).  And make the TbT supposed in audio like Komoot or Osmand do.

    I'm hopeful we have the reliability almost under control with this last update.  After that, the addition of features this summer needs to be at a pretty fast clip - electronic drivetrains, lights/radar,  app store, dashboard updates from above, etc....

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    Seth H Shaw

    With respect to you John it seems little has changed in the six months I've been off my Karoo-fix and onto the ROX12. How long have you been saying Karoo has advantages it needs to exploit quickly; make it reliable and add key features?  A long time my friend. Garmin may suck but a $100 discount to the Karoo can't be ignored, particularly when it's tilted to the 800 pound gorilla's advantage.  I still opine Karoo is not in the major leagues compared with the ROX12 -- save for that incredible display. They've been at it for 16 months+

    Tip o' the chapeau to HH's management for securing funding. I know the private equity industry rather well and its players do not have enduring patience. I'm reckoning substantial management alterations will be made by the end of the year barring a miracle.  Competition is breathing down HH's neck at a much faster pace than Hammerhead is making Karoo reliable and feature-rich. That does not bode well for the status quo. 

    If I were you John I'd be rooting for these changes.   

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