Hammerhead's new Karoo GPS unit gets a companion app, upgraded specs, and now integrates with SRAM AXS ecosystem

Hammerhead Karoo fitted to a moving bike
(Image credit: Hammerhead)

Hammerhead has launched the third-generation Karoo GPS computer. The Android-powered GPS head unit gets a wealth of new updates including updated hardware, AXS integration, and a new companion app.

While the Karoo 2 stood out amongst the best GPS computers for its high-quality display and intuitive user experience, it somewhat lacked when compared to feature-rich Garmin's 1040 or simplicity of the Wahoo Roam.

Hammerhead has ditched the numbering and the new unit is simply called Karoo, rather than Karoo 3. As with many electronic devices these days, not all that much has changed visually. It still features a 3.2in 480x800 pixel touch screen although the button profile and layout have changed including a dedicated on/off button.

Inside there are a load of new changes. The Karoo now features a Quad Core 2.0GHz processor and 4GB of RAM, plus double the memory with 64GB for offline map storage. Battery life is also claimed to be 30 percent longer than the Karoo 2 and charging times are quoted at 2.5 hours for a full charge and 30 percent in 30 minutes. The Karoo has mukti-band connectivity to GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BEIDOU satellite services.

The SIM slot has now been replaced with a new Hammerhead companion app for iOS and Android. It has all the ride upload, synchronized routes and workouts, and Live Tracking features you would expect, plus a few brand-new features too. Google Maps and Apple Map pins can now be shared directly to the Karoo allowing you to quickly search for a location on your phone and then navigate there using the Karoo. Route and workout files can also be directly shared with the Karoo by using the native share feature on your phone and selecting the Hammerhead Companion App.

Karoo will now support TrainerRoad and Training Peaks alongside things like Strava live segments and a Climber page. Training sessions are now supported with customizable workout screens, interval guidance, and workout compliance scores to keep you on track during your activity.

Hammerhead Karoo being used while sitting on a sofa with a cup of tea

Climber page highlights climbing stats within a route (Image credit: Hammerhead)

With SRAM's acquisition of Hammerhead in 2021, it doesn't come as a surprise that the first Hammerhead Karoo release under SRAM's tenure includes a wealth of AXS-compatible features. The head unit can now be controlled using SRAM blips or the new Red AXS bonus buttons on the hood, allowing riders to scroll through pages without taking their hands off the handlebars. All AXS components linked to your AXS account will now automatically pair and the battery life of each component can be checked using the Karoo.

The new Karoo doesn't just feature more SRAM AXS integration, it's included as part of the newly released SRAM RED groupset. It will also be available within an aftermarket bundle with the all-new SRAM RED AXS Shifters and will be specced OEM on some high-end bikes. The new RED groupset is currently road only and there are no details yet if a similar availability will be included for future RED XPLR.

To keep everything up to date, Hammerhead says that regular software updates will introduce new features and improvements to Karoo.

Pricing puts it right between Garmin and Wahoo's existing flagship models with the Hammerhead Karoo retailing for $474.99 / €499.99 / £449.99.

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg