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Hammerhead Karoo Reboots w/ Sleek Design, More Compatibility & Companion App

3rd generation Hammerhead Karoo cycling computer shown on a bike.
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Developed in conjunction with the new SRAM RED group, the all-new Hammerhead Karoo finally gives them a companion app and makes it easier than ever to pair devices. Combine that with a better display, improved button layout, and their built-in keyboard, and it’s a proper contender.

Here’s everything you need to know…

More storage, brighter screens, better buttons

front, side, and back views of 3rd generation Hammerhead Karoo cycling computer.

Hammerhead’s two main goals were to make it easier to pair and connect sensors, and to simplify workout and route syncing. But they also made it easier to control and see, too. And it looks better than ever, with a slightly longer, more angular appearance.

The new model is the third iteration of the Karoo, but rather than call it Karoo 3, it’s just “Karoo”.

new karoo 3 cycling computer shown on a bike.

Internally, it has 64GB storage, twice as much as before, with 4GB RAM to fit more of their free global maps. And it has more than 2x processing power over Karoo 2, with better efficiency, which helps it render maps and navigation faster while also lasting longer.

They claim up to 15 hours of battery life using all features, but there’s a battery-saving mode that’ll extend that.

It has a glossier Gorilla Glass screen, but with better glare reduction and an improved display with ambient light sensor with automatic brightness adjustment to make it easy to see in all light conditions.

touchscreen controls closeup on 3rd generation Hammerhead Karoo cycling computer.

There’s also now a dedicated power button on the bottom, and the side buttons are bigger and further apart with better haptics. This makes it much easier to use while riding, even with full-finger gloves. It’s also a touch screen, giving you multiple options for controlling it. Raining? Lock the screen so raindrops don’t mess with your display.

Lastly, if you’re upgrading from the Karoo 2, just log into your account and it’ll perform a quick sync during initial setup that automatically ports over all of your info, bikes, and modes, so you’re ready to roll in just a few minutes. There’s also a new Single Sign On option that marries your Karoo and AXS app accounts.

iOS companion app (Android, too!)

routing options on the new hammerhead karoo cycling computer.

The Hammerhead products have always been (and still are) built on the Android operation system.They already have an Android companion app, but that OS had presented challenges iOS. Also, it was an internal resources issue, Hammerhead was a small company prior to SRAM’s acquisition.

Now, they finally have an iOS mobile companion app, but it’s not exactly what you think. Unlike Wahoo’s reliance on the app to customize the screens and data fields (which you do directly on the Karoo’s screen, and it’s very easy), the Karoo’s app is mainly there as a bridge to mobile data.

Meaning, once paired with your phone, you can add or sync routes and workouts while away from WiFi, regardless of whether you prefer robots or apples. However, it’s done a little differently than how it syncs over WiFi:

• Quick Navigation – Send a pin from Google Maps or Apple Maps to Karoo, so you can navigate to it or save it
as a Pin.

Route File & Workout Importing – Share a Route File or a Workout File to your Karoo via the Companion App by using your phone’s native share feature, selecting the Hammerhead Companion App, and your route/workout will be made available on your Karoo.

The only trick with mobile route syncing is that you have to install the base map for the region where the route is over WiFi…so, be sure to download your area prior to leaving home. And, as nice as it is to have some mobile functionality, their browser-based dashboard is still where the heavy lifting is done if you want to create new routes with their free builder.

Strava, Training Peaks & other integrations

Using the Karoo or their browser-based dashboard, you can link your various accounts for automatic syncing and uploads.

For racers, Training Peaks and TrainerRoad integrations let you send workouts straight from those apps to the device, even when out on the road thanks to the new companion app.

Live Tracking (when connected to the mobile app) lets emergency contacts see your location, but also lets you share you location with others so you can meet up.

Strava Live Segments will show your position on the segment as you’re doing it, with a graphic that slides up from bottom. That bottom bar also slides up for navigation cues, workout cues, and their Climb display. Swipe down to hide it, or click on the tabs to switch between these data fields.

The new Karoo supports all ANT+ smart lights with controls, and all brands of rear-facing radars, including the new Trek CarBack. And it pairs with LEV-compatible e-bikes to show data like motor assist level, estimated range, motor output, and the bike’s battery level.

Routing & Navigation

various views of 3rd generation Hammerhead Karoo cycling computer.

The Karoo multi-band GNSS satellite reception pulling from GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, and BEIDOU satellites.

For stored routes or your current ride, you can select “ride in reverse” to mix it up or get home and it will reroute based on any one-way streets or other limitations without affecting the saved route file.

Choose your surface type preferences and it’ll help you create routes that prioritize those (road, gravel, or trail). Once a route is saved, it’ll then give you on-device alerts when the surface type is about to change. There’s also an easy POI capture while riding.

Instant pairing, setup, controls & notifications

control screen for axs components on 3rd generation Hammerhead Karoo cycling computer.

Designed alongside the new RED group, it will automatically connect and pair all components on your bike. Which is great, but for many riders that’s a one-time affair. Or, at least, a very occasional need.

The real trick is that you can then set up those components, customize the controls, and see individual component battery levels directly from the Karoo. Even better, it also pushes low battery alerts to the app to remind you to charge batteries after a ride.

Set the new RED Bonus Buttons to swipe through the Karoo’s screens, turn multi-shift on or off, or even change what the shift paddles do if you want to reverse their pattern. You can even set short and long press controls to show different screens on the Karoo using the Bonus Buttons. Continuous software updates and product feature improvements.

Naturally, it has full AXS group integration to show gear selection, too. They say they’re working on getting Shimano Di2 integration re-added, but that’s up to Shimano (the Japanese brand pulled back that data access when SRAM acquired Hammerhead). No word on Campy EPS data sharing.

E-bike mode shows bike battery status, range estimation, battery burn rates, etc., and will also show that data in the Dashboard for post-ride analysis.

A better mount

mounts for new 3rd generation Hammerhead Karoo cycling computer.

The new Karoo comes with an updated 31.8mm bar mount with an adjustable mounting plate lets you extend or retract head unit by up to 10mm. A reinforced support arm holds extra weight, so you can use the included accessory adapter for lights or an action camera underneath.

The captured mounting bolt is hidden underneath the bar, keeping your cockpit clean without worrying about the bolt falling out during installation. Karoo’s unique mounting design is license-able (K-Edge already makes compatible mounts & adapters) so that 3rd party brands can offer them, too.

All computers also include a standard quarter-turn adapter that lets you mount it to your Garmin-style mount, too.

Pricing & Availability

The new Karoo will retail for $474.99 (€499.99 / £449.99). Weight is 118g (w/o mount), it’s IP67 waterproof, USB-rechargeable, and supports English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian out of the box.

Hammerhead.io

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3 Comments
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Alex Tan
Alex Tan
7 days ago

Can it easy to import planned map from Komoot or Starva and export back after the trip? Can it link with other brand Cadence devices?

syborg
syborg
5 days ago

Can it correctly follow a route that has loops in it? How does it re-route when the rider goes off course? Di2 compatible or do you still have a side load the Ki2 app? Can I load OSM maps or do i have to wait for Hammerhead to the an updated map? Can i bulk load routes by copy & paste from my desktop computer?

TheDoc
TheDoc
2 days ago

Can I pair a Garmin watch and broadcast my HR to it?

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