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TCX course file not giving turn by turn on Wahoo

Saturday 19 June
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For some time now I have been downloading TCX Course files on my phone then opening them with my Wahoo app, ending up with the route downloaded onto my Wahoo Bolt and giving turn by turn instructions. 

Recently however, while the route still downloads, I no longer get turn by turn. Has anybody else experienced this, any advise please?



Sat 19 Jun, 22:23

I believe the downloading options have changed lately.

I'd suggest trying to download a different format and see how that goes. 

Sat 19 Jun, 23:10

There’s certainly no intentional change but GPS units are infamously pernickety!

Stu – do you have an example of an (older) file that works and a (newer) one that doesn’t?

Sun 20 Jun, 11:39

I no longer get turn by turn instructions, in the sense of a message saying the next turn is in to streetname in x metres. Can't remember exactly when the change happened - wahoo have done a few updates recently to fix things broken earlier. I'd imagined this was a Wahoo update issue to be honest, however haven't spent much time troubleshooting it. I did a quick check this morning and downloaded a pending wahoo map update, but a quick check around the block showed no change - still not working. I'm not sure what's happening in the world at large.

Sun 20 Jun, 13:26

I’ve just run an automated comparison between a TCX file downloaded from today, and one of the same route downloaded last August, and I can’t see any significant differences. So my working guess would be that Wahoo have changed something.

I don’t have a Wahoo unit to test, but if you have a TCX file (from wherever!) that does work with the Wahoo, please let me know and I can try and find out what the difference is.

Mon 21 Jun, 19:33

I have this as well, not the end of the world, but with a bit of luck Wahoo might fix it.

Wed 23 Jun, 12:51

I note that Wahoo’s list of firmware updates says “Fixed: Turn-by-turn and custom cues for manually imported TCX/GPX files” for 25th May 2021. I wonder if that broke it.

If someone could find a TCX file that does work and email it to me ( that would be great – thanks!

Wed 23 Jun, 14:16

Thank your all and apologies for the radio silence and the unnecessary effort this may have caused. I think I may have found a cause. When I download a TCX course and tick the option to "Announce turns x m in advance", I think it causes a conflict and stops Wahoo TBT from working. When I leave this option unticked, it seems to work. Thank you all again, I am very grateful for your help. 

Tue 29 Jun, 21:26

Interesting. I never check the "Announce" box and have the lack of turn instructions problem. I've been away for a few days but am now home, so will conduct some tests and report back.

Wed 30 Jun, 18:35

I've done some quick tests and believe this to be a Wahoo issue.

My ROAM is on firmware version WR18-11614 14th June 2021. This is the latest available as of 30June.

I used a route I created some time ago. that goes round a block near where I live.

Today, without checking the announce turn box, I created a .tcx in C.T on my phone and uploaded it to the roam via the companion app. On the roam it's listed as "filename 3.1Km Wahoo". I took exactly the same route on my phone and created another .tcx on my phone that I then sent to myself by messenger in order to get it on my PC. On the PC I loaded it in to RWGPS. Then on my phone, in the companion app, it did a synch with RWGPS. On the roam it's listed as "filename 3.1 Km RideWithGPS"

I then selected the wahoo transferred file on the roam and rode the route. There were no turn by turn instructions. However the cue page on the roam showed a full list of cues.

I then selected the rwgps transferred file and turn by turn instructions were given.

I then went in to RWGPS on my PC and exported a .tcx of the route. The .tcx that was exported out of RWGPS is different to the version that which was directly created by C.T.

It has more rows (797 as opposed to 696)  and is slightly bigger ( 30.2 KB as opposed to 27.0 KP). There are clearly other differences that are responsible for the presence or absence of turn by turn instructions, however I'm not knowledgeable enough on this subject to understand it.

I'll email the two files for the sake of interest. Richard, it's up to you if you spend time on this, but it seems to me the ball should be in Wahoo's court. The file size and rows will tell which is which. I'll revert to running my .tcx's through RWGPS although that wouldn't be my first choice. I did try making a .tcx in C.T with the announce turn box checked, but still no turn by turn instructions.

Looks like I'll have to raise a Wahoo ticket - again!

Thu 1 Jul, 15:48

All, I opened a Wahoo ticket on this and they've said it's a known problem that they're working on.

Thu 1 Jul, 16:41

Thanks for persisting with this Graham! Look forward to seeing what Wahoo come up with.

Mon 2 Aug, 23:49

I lately had the same problem. As a workaround, I exported my route as GPX (not TCX) and let my Wahoo unit calculate the turn-by-turn instructions.

It worked really well. I just opened the GPX file in the ELEMNT app and sent it to my Roam via bluetooth. This method even has the instructions in my native language, instead of being in English when I used the TCX files.

Of course this doesn't fix the underlying issue, but maybe it will help you to get turn-by-turn working again for now.

Tue 3 Aug, 10:13

Thanks Laurenz.

I just conducted some tests and when I used the gpx track file format and transferred it directly to the Roam using the companion app, I got turn by turn instructions. So, success :-)

Using the tcx file format still resulted in no turn by turn instructions. I must admit to being a little disappointed in Wahoo as there have been two firmware updates since this problem was reported to them.

Richard, would you care to comment on potential downsides of using the gpx track format in this context please?

Tue 3 Aug, 10:50

By the way, I just checked on the wahoo website and my ticket is still open. All things considered, it's still better the the experience I had with the big G!! So mustn't grumble ;-)

Tue 3 Aug, 16:50

Many thanks all for your help and persistence

Wed 4 Aug, 12:58

I’ve not tried it, but I’d guess that the main downside from getting Wahoo to generate the turn-by-turn instructions from a GPX, rather than using those generated by in a TCX, would be that they’re less clear.

c.t does a lot of extra processing to work out the most appropriate instruction for any turn. So (for example) going from a road onto a roadside cycleway will often show up as “turn right in 10m, then turn left in 1m” on other routing engines, but c.t will say “fork right onto roadside cycleway”. I would be surprised if Wahoo does this – though I may be doing them a disservice.

But for rural riding it’s probably less important; generally junctions in rural areas are less ambiguous. City cycling is where it’s really hard to get the instructions right.

Wed 4 Aug, 17:01

Thanks for that Richard.

It's interesting to have insight in to what goes on "under the hood".

Mon 11 Oct, 15:57

I can confirm a generated tcx course file that is transferred to my Wahoo Roam by the companion app now correctly gives turn by turn instructions. Wahoo told me they'd resolved the issue and closed the ticket a month ago. I just got around to testing it today.