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Garmin Edge 1040 (with Solar) In-Depth Review

With Garmin’s introduction of the Edge 1040 Series they’ve become the first GPS bike computer to not only add solar panels to it, but also add multiband GNSS, dramatically increasing the accuracy of the GPS tracks – especially in tougher conditions. Beyond that the company has added a slate of long-asked for upgrades, including things like USB-C support, metal mounting back/tabs, and dramatically faster route calculation and destination searching.

However, beyond that are the slate of new features we see anytime Garmin adds a new device. These include their new Power Guide function that creates race/training day plans/targets specific to a given course, while also adding in features that help identify your cycling ability and how that matches up to a given course’s demands. All while also laying the groundwork for more cycling-specific dynamic training plans that we saw introduced and hinted at on the Forerunner 255/955 last week.

I’ve been using the Edge 1040 Solar for a while now, putting it through its paces on everything from everyday rides to epic rides, indoor training to commutes. All of which ultimately culminates in this review based on real-world usage  and not just reading a specs sheet).

As usual, this unit is a media loaner, and it’ll go back to Garmin shortly. This review is not sponsored (nor does any company get to preview my review), furthermore I don’t take any advertiser money from any companies I review. And as regular readers know, if something is crap, I’m gonna tell it brutally like it is – no matter the brand (as Garmin saw just a few weeks ago). Once this unit goes back, I’ll go out and get my own for any future testing needs. If you found this review useful, you can use the links at the bottom, or consider becoming a DCR Supporter which makes the site ad-free, while also getting access to a mostly weekly video series behind the scenes of the DCR Cave. And of course, it makes you awesome.

What’s New:

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The Edge 1040 is largely an evolutionary upgrade rather than a revolutionary one. Still, because of a complete re-design of the user interface, it effectively represents a break from the past. A dividing line if you will, and as such we see a slate of new features taking advantage of that UI redesign, as well as a handful of features being killed off.

I’ve gone through side by side of both units (1040 vs 1030 Plus), and tried to find every nuanced feature that’s different. Some of them are substantial (Power Guide or Multiband GNSS), and some of them less substantial (adding WiFi sync-all button). In any case, go forth:

– Added Solar ($749) and non-Solar model ($599)
– Added Power Glass specifically for Solar model only
– Increased storage from 32GB to 64GB for Solar model only
– Added pre-loaded North America & EMEA for base version
– Added pre-loaded North America, EMEA, AU/NZ Maps for Solar model only
– Added Multi-band/Dual Frequency GNSS/GPS
– Added USB-C connection
– Changed the back mount to be metal
– Completely revamped the user interface everywhere
– Changed lanyard attachment to not thread through the charging door
– Added Connect IQ Widget Glances to Homepage/Dashboard
– Added Power Guide for per-course training/racing guidance
– Added Up Ahead for distance to waypoints
– Added Cycling Ability to classify cyclist strengths/weaknesses
– Added Course Demands to compare course features to ride needs
– Added Real-Time Stamina to show energy/distance/duration left during workout
– Added Location Search Widget
– Added ‘Recent Finds’ from navigation panel (so things you recently searched for).
– Added new ‘Bike Shops’ & “Water Stops” categories for navigation search (and completely re-did other categories to mostly get rid of auto stuff)
– Added Post-Ride ClimbPro Splits on device
– Added re-scheduling of primary workouts
– Added support race/event driven Daily Suggested Workouts (subset of what was launched on FR255/955 last week)
– Added paired sensor information to summary page (even for non-Garmin sensors)
– Added support for Shimano STEPS sensor type (eBike component)
– Added new consolidated post-ride Highlights screen with PR’s
– Added estimated battery remaining when toggling Battery Saver mode
– Added manual WiFi sync all button (a ‘do it now’ option, but removed single-ride upload option)
– Added phone-based config of data fields/data pages
– Added Garmin Connect IQ App Store on-device marketplace
– Changed nearby POI/Things search to be fast AF now. Holy crap.
– Far faster route calculation times
– Increased ClimbPro coloring to show more gradient definition
– Now automatically changes map popularity type to match activity (I.e. Road vs MTB)
– Removed horrifically unreliable duplicate Bluetooth pairing process for phones
– Removed Varia Vision sensor support
– Removed device transfer (sharing between units)
– Removed 3D Map Orientation option (kinda looks like car GPS map)
– Same screen resolution as before
– Same touchscreen as before
– Increased weight slight from 126g to 133g
– Nearly Doubled battery life from 24 hours up to 45 hours (in Multi-Band GPS mode with Solar)

As usual, it’s common to ask whether any of these features will be added to any existing Edge units, and unfortunately this time the answer is no. While Garmin has added an insane number of features to the Edge 1030 since its release (including virtually all of the Edge 1030 Plus features), as well as a sizable number of features to the Edge 530/830/1030 Plus since their releases, this time around the new features aren’t being added downstream.

Garmin didn’t clarify why, though, I suspect it’s largely tied to the new user interface on the Edge 1040. Bringing those features down to older units would have required either updating the UI on those older units, or, changing the code on the newer features to work in the older UI (which in turn has more developer time associated with it). Of course, that doesn’t change the reality that the Edge 1030 Plus especially, as well as older units, are largely fully capable technically-speaking of receiving future firmware updates, they just won’t from a business standpoint.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen both Wahoo & Hammerhead continue to add features updates to older units. Albeit even in those cases, that continuation for the oldest devices has somewhat faded. For Hammerhead, the majority but not all of the new features are both Karoo versions (of course, Hammerhead is releasing so many new features every two weeks it’s insane), whereas in Wahoo’s cases, their new feature train has mostly died.

Size Comparisons:

To begin, here’s a look at how the new Edge 1030 Plus (left) compares to the Edge 1040 (right):

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Then, here’s a lineup against some popular units these days (Edge 830, Wahoo ROAM, Stages L200, Hammerhead Karoo 2, Garmin Edge 1030 Plus, Garmin Edge 1040 Solar):

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And finally, here’s a weigh-in of all of them:

Got all that? Good, let’s start using it.

The Basics:

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This section will start off with some basic aspects of using a Garmin Edge series device, but will cover newness in the Edge 1040 as I go along, getting deeper and deeper. Note that I’ve separated out the Solar, Mapping/Navigation, and new Training Load type features into separate sections after this. Everything in every section except the Solar unit, applies to both models.

Starting with the user interface, the Edge 1040 is a touchscreen interface, but also has three physical buttons for certain features. The buttons are used for starting/stopping an activity, as well as creating a lap. And powering on/off the unit. In other words, things that you generally do rarely or very purposefully. Meaning that while the touchscreen is pretty good, like any touchscreen, accidents can happen.

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The touchscreen seems to work quite well in either sunny or rainy conditions, and with or without gloves. Even all-out dumping rain with standing water on the screen, and it still works just fine. The display resolution and touchscreen are the same as before, though the clarity will look better because of the new fonts (and inversely, also like the slightest bit darker on the Solar edition).

Next, and perhaps most importantly, Garmin switched to USB-C for the Edge 1040. Given they’ve been working their way through adding USB-C to other devices this year, this likely comes as no surprise. And is solidly on the “Flippin’ finally!” realm.

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They also changed the mount on the back to be aluminum, as well as changed the location of the lanyard string to not be through the charging port door (much cleaner). The mount still supports Garmin’s Extended Battery Pack, in the event 100 hours of battery life by itself still isn’t enough for you.

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When you first unbox the Edge 1040 you’ll likely pair it up with Garmin Connect Mobile on your smartphone. If you do so, and if you have an existing Garmin Edge device, it’ll transfer over your sport profiles/data pages/settings, as well as all your paired sensors. In my case, due to a now-fixed bug, it did not transfer my sport profiles over, but did transfer over all my sensor profiles.

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Most notably as part of that pairing process is they’ve done away with the frustrating dual-Bluetooth pairing they used to do, which paired both a legacy Bluetooth connection and a newer Bluetooth Smart connection, which was prone to connection issues. That’s gone now.

Once turned on, you’ll find the newly revamped interface on the Edge 1040. The main shift here is towards a homepage/dashboard that roughly matches the Widget Glances functionality that’s been on their wearables a few years. The idea being you can customize this, download widgets to it for various things, and tweak it to however you like it.

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Up at the top you’ve got your activity/ride profiles. You might create one for road biking, one for mountain, one for commuting, and so on. Each of these can have vastly different settings, from map/navigation settings, to data pages and data fields, ClimbPro settings, timers/alerts, GPS configurations, etc…

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Looking at data pages for example, you’ve got a slate of predefined pages (including things like Strava Live Segments), and then you can create pretty much as many custom pages as you want. Custom pages can have up to 10 data fields per page, and there’s likely hundreds of different data fields you can choose from. And that ignores all the Garmin Connect IQ data fields from 3rd parties you can add (for free).

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Notably, you can now manage and edit all data fields/pages/settings from your phone – just like recently seen on the Fenix 7, Forerunner 255/955, and Instinct 2 series.

Going back to the widget glances for a second, you’ll find them customizable and covering everything from quick access to navigation, to your ride history, as well as your training plan (if one is created). If connected to your phone via Bluetooth, you’ll get weather data and any smartphone notifications.

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Next, there’s sensor pairing. That’s located within the sensors menu, and lets you pair up any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart sensor:

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The Edge 1040 Series supports the following sensor types:

Heart Rate (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart), Speed/Cadence (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart), Garmin VIRB (ANT+), Cycling Lights (ANT+), Cycling Radar (ANT+), Cycling Power (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart), Garmin inReach (ANT+), Garmin Edge Remote (ANT+), Shimano STEPS (Proprietary Shimano ANT), eBike (ANT+), Gear Shifting (ANT+), Shimano Di2 (Proprietary Shimano ANT), Smart Trainer (ANT+)

Notably, this adds Shimano STEPS sensors, which are eBike sensors, while concurrently removing Garmin Varia Vision sensor support. Speaking of removals, they also removed device transfers between units, which was previously used for sharing courses and such. While it sucks that they removed it, the feature hardly worked well to begin with. So I’m not sure it’s a huge loss.

One cool thing that they added in the sensor realm is that at the end of the ride, it’ll actually show you not only which sensors were paired in the summary screen, but the battery status for those sensors (including non-Garmin sensors when broadcast):

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Next, there’s the new multiband/dual-frequency GNSS/GPS. This is considered the holy-grail of GPS accuracy. You can quickly glance at the top settings to see which GPS mode it’s in, as it’ll show a small “+” when in multiband. You can change this on a per-activity profile basis:

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Multiband GPS can produce astonishing results in harder conditions like trees, mountains, buildings – as I’ve shown in my Fenix 7/Epix/Forerunner 955/Forerunner 255 reviews. At the same time, there’s also a significant battery hit (roughly halves your battery). And for most on-road rides, you simply don’t need multiband GPS. So you can go back to ‘All Systems’ or even ‘Base’ GPS, and still get results equal to or better anything you had on your existing Garmin Edge 1030/1030 Plus (and thus, double your battery). More on that in the accuracy section. Here’s Garmin’s official battery specs:

Demanding use (Multi-Band GPS)
– 35 hours / up to 45 hours with solar charging
– Solar charging adds up to 20 minutes per hour during daytime riding
– Demanding specifically means: Multiband GPS, 4 sensors connected, Live Track enabled, an on the map page with a course loaded

Battery Saver mode:
– 70 hours / up to 100 hours with solar charging
– Solar charging adds up to 42 minutes per hour during daytime riding

So at this point, with everything set, we’ll just start a simple ride. It’ll usually find GPS within a couple seconds, and find sensors once activated within a few seconds as well. You’ll chose your activity profile and then press start. At which point you’ll see real-time data on the screens, and it’ll be recording in the background:

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As you can see, all of this is pretty much like any other bike computer. The fonts are a bit different of course than before with the new user interface, but by and large, it’s pretty much same-same. And, like before, it all works well.

Post-ride, there’s a slew of changes however, starting with a new achievements summary page that outlines any PR’s for the ride, as well as the training impact/load/recovery time, and then if on the solar model – the solar related bits.

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After that you’ve got a second more detailed post-ride page that gets into crazy-town on the detailed stats, broken out into different sections that are easier to digest. Here’s a galley of all that:

As usual, all this gets sent up to Garmin Connect via Bluetooth/WiFi (or even USB), and then is visible on Garmin Connect Mobile or the desktop site. And of course, if you’ve got any linked accounts like Strava, TrainingPeaks, Today’s Plan, Final Surge, etc… it’ll instantly send the data to them as well.

Finally, for lack of anywhere else to put it, the Edge 1040 does have WiFi connectivity. That’s for syncing rides, courses, firmware, and everything except maps. Maps via WiFi would be logical, but I’ll rant about that later in this post. However, what is cool is that Garmin added a new Sync Now button. I know this sounds trivial, but previously this didn’t exist. You could sorta fake it by going deep into a single historical workout and triggering it there for a given ride, but this new button makes WiFi sync easy:

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I find that generally speaking, WiFi sync just works more reliably than phone sync, especially for courses or such – or, if I’ve got other Garmin devices already doing syncs (like a watch or such). But perhaps that’s just me.

Garmin has also added in a new Connect IQ app store for the Edge 1040, that’s on-deice itself. This is prominently displayed in the lower right corner of the unit, and takes you to a list of recommended apps. Of which, there are basically just a couple (literally, three).

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As I criticized last week in my Forerunner 255 & Forerunner 955 review, having just 2-6 specific Recommended Apps here (that don’t change) is entirely useless and defeats the point of this concept. I should see weekly recommendations of cool new apps, ideally from a blend of big and smaller developers. There’s countless new CIQ apps available, and showing me the same tired big-name apps that all of us have ignored for years isn’t likely to get me to increase my usage of those apps. Either I already have them, or I didn’t want them years ago. Showing me the same apps forever isn’t going to change that.

With that, let’s dive into Solar features next before circling back on navigation/routing and other training load features.

Solar Features:

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This section is focused entirely on the solar edition of the Edge 1040, which includes the solar panel technology. This solar panel (obviously) provides solar power for the unit, which increases the battery life both while you’re riding, and also (in theory) while just chillin’ on a table in the sun non-riding.

Starting with the Solar panel itself, it’s divided into basically two types. The first is the most obvious portion of the panel at the top/bottom of the screen (the reddish portions above). This is the visible portion, and has a photovoltaic level of 100%. In the most simplified explanation, 100% of the sun’s goodness that hits this portion of the panel gets converted to extra juice (there’s a lot of technical nuances to that, but again, simplicity here).

However, over the entire display is another solar panel that has a 15% photovoltaic level (a notable increase over the Fenix 7 & Forerunner 955 panels which are 7% photovoltaic levels). This main panel is obviously far larger than the upper/lower panels, but harvests less energy since it’s just 15% versus 100%. But, you can see though it, so it’s essentially invisible to you. That’s what Garmin calls ‘Solar Glass’, because it’s actually glass.

Out in the sun while riding you’ve got a new Solar data page that shows you the exact solar power you’ve gained (in minutes:seconds), the average solar intensity for the ride, as well as a little graph showing the solar intensity throughout the ride:

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Then post-ride you’ll see the same in a few different places, showing your ride totals:

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This is also shown in Garmin Connect where you’ll see your summary for the ride there displayed:

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Garmin’s solar battery claims are based on 75,000 lux conditions (a measure of brightness), which is another increase over their previous baseline claims of 50,000 lux conditions for their Fenix/Instinct/Forerunner units. This is actually a more useful change, because 50,000 lux conditions really aren’t that high. Even in the winter, on a sunny day in the Netherlands I can hit 70,000 lux. Whereas in the summer in a warmer locale, I can hit 125-150,000 lux. Garmin will harvest any extra lux it gets, so it’s not limited to 75,000 lux.

To put in context what this all means, check out this 4hr Mont Ventoux ride from a few days ago. This was a looped ride, and the bulk of the main climb was actually under cloudy/light rain conditions. However, as we neared the summit it got sunny and the solar harvesting estimates were jumping crazy high, I presume due to a combination of summer-sun and high altitude means even higher lux conditions.

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Ultimately, I ended the ride with 31 minutes gained. This means that my battery run rates put me at an estimated 46 hours of battery life (with Multi-Band GPS, course/navigation enabled, ClimbPro enabled, Power Guide enabled, ANT+ Power, Di2, Heart Rate, and Bluetooth LiveTrack to my phone.) And again, the first half of the ride it was raining/overcast.

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Another shorter 2hr 21 minute ride the next day in very hot & sunny (but a bit hazy) conditions in the south of France gained me 27 minutes and DesFit 33 minutes. Interestingly, we decided to test whether the Edge 1040 would produce different battery estimates in different GPS modes. So he left his in multi-band configuration, and I put mine in ‘All Systems’ GPS configuration (the middle option), which is equivalent to an Edge 1030 Plus accuracy-wise. This would in theory improve my battery life compared to his, and thus, I’d get a higher Solar gain time. In reality, it doesn’t appear that the time-gained Solar widget accounts for your GPS settings.

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And it doesn’t seem like this had any meaningful impact on battery life either, since both of our units had near-identical battery burn rates, with battery life projections of nearly 60 hours (and again, all the same things enabled).

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Meanwhile, when the sun goes away, so does the extra juice. Here’s an evening pre-sunset ride, where we only gained two minutes after 76 minutes of riding:

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When you power off the Edge 1040 Plus, it actually gives you this screen which shows/explains to you the current solar intensity level, and how to place your unit on a surface for continued solar capture in the sun:

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Those results can honestly be more impressive. Yesterday I just placed mine in the sun for about 2 hours, with 70,000 lux occasionally cloudy conditions, and it gained 49 minutes of battery life. Depending on your windows and sun, you could literally just leave your Edge 1040 Solar in the windows and have it charge itself back up most days.

Of course, you’d also gain that battery life in just a couple minutes plugged in. And while harvesting the sun is better for the environment, it’s not entirely a zero sum game. Especially when that privilege costs you an extra $150.

Mapping & Navigation:

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While one may buy the Edge 1040 due to its large screen, the most likely reason you’d buy such an expensive beast is for its navigation features. There’s no bike computer on the market that comes close in terms of navigation related features, and the Edge 1040 extends that slightly in a couple of updated/new areas:

– Addition of “Up Ahead” Waypoint planning/display
– Dramatically faster calculation times
– Revamped categorization of POI groups (including adding bike shops & water stops)
– New location search & search history
– Power Guide on courses (more in next section)
– Included maps for more regions in Solar bundle

Of course, this is in addition to all the existing core mapping & navigation functions:

– Course routing (from files, Garmin Connect, or 3rd party sites)
– ClimbPro climb navigation/details
– Searching for points of interest nearby to navigate to
– Searching for specific addressees to navigate to
– Creating round-trip course on the fly based on desired distance
– Built-in heatmap/popularity map data
– MTB-specific trail data
– Routing to saved locations

Which isn’t to say it’s all perfect, or necessarily the leader in every part of every category. In fact, the first area that probably shows some of those cracks is the map loading. On the Edge 1040 it’ll come with the maps for your region you bought it in, whereas the Edge 1040 Solar comes with maps for North America, EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa), and Australia/New Zealand. This is because the Edge 1040 base edition has 32GB of storage, whereas the Edge 1040 Solar has 64GB of storage. Fear not though, if you have an Edge 1040 base, you can still load fully detailed Garmin maps (for free), using Garmin Express on our computer via USB cable:

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However, this falls short of what all their competitors have in terms of WiFi map downloads (Hammerhead/Wahoo/Stages/Sigma), and even their own wearables groups, which supports map downloads via WiFi on the Fenix 7/Epix/Tactix 7/Forerunner 955. I just don’t understand how/why this isn’t supported here. And this is just one of many clear disconnects between two groups within the same overall division (Fitness, covering Forerunner & Edge devices). More on those later.

No matter, the maps you’ll get on the Garmin Edge series are very good, and include all of the so-called ‘popularity’ data, which is basically heatmap data on them. However, they won’t show actual heatmaps like the Hammerhead Karoo does, which is tremendously useful when ad-hoc riding or changing a route, and want to just glanceable look at the roads around you to see where people actually ride.

Still, if you do specifically route somewhere, then the underlying data is there, and arguably, Garmin’s underlying data is far more complete and detailed than Hammerhead’s (which is based on Suunto’s smaller data set).

In any case, for today’s ride we’re gonna load a course. In my case, I created the course in Strava, and it synced over automatically. However, you can also create the course on numerous platforms that support automatic sync, or simply manually create courses in Garmin Connect.

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This course has a substantial climb in it, being Mont Ventoux, and as such, you’ll see the climbs listed within ClimbPro.

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ClimbPro is by far my favorite Garmin feature, and lets you see the exact details of the climb as you ride it, including details on distance/ascent/grade remaining till the top, as well as your position on the climb. The Edge 1040 significantly increases the ClimbPro coloring to show more detail now, with different gradients more clearly shown on the climbs.

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Now in the Garmin world, this still requires a course be loaded, whereas Hammerhead doesn’t require any course loading. That’s a huge point for Hammerhead, but inversely, Garmin’s data is consistently more accurate. On Hammerhead I constantly get incorrect upcoming grade information (hugely incorrect), versus Garmin tends to smooth it a bit more and is ultimately actually accurate. Still, I don’t see why Garmin can’t add in ClimbPro on-demand like Hammerhead (or inversely, why Hammerhead can’t do a better job at smoothing out inaccuracies).

While riding a route you’ll get turn by turn notifications each time a turn is required. It’ll display a little mini-amp that includes turn information as you approach each turn:

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If you go off-course, it’ll give you options for getting back on course (and if you ignore it, it’ll just take care of it for you). This happened 3-4 weeks ago when I ran into some road closures that dramatically changed my route, and it sorted things out as I just rode along. If you’re riding to a destination you’ve set on the Edge itself (as opposed to a course), it won’t even bother you with re-route notifications, it just does it instantly and silently – making up for your mistakes.

The re-calculation times are virtually instant here. Whether or not that’s because they’ve changed how they display recalculations is probably the better question. Previously, Garmin would show you the slow recalculation progress at the top, but in reality, you could always ride immediately. It was calculating the full route – miles before you ever got there. Realistically, you didn’t need to know that. So whether it’s actually faster, or they just hid the part you don’t need to know – I don’t know. But either way, it’s instant gratification. For funsies: On the Edge 1030 Plus, the calculating route took 1 minute 58 seconds to complete a 55KM course, on the Edge 1040 it was instant.

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Speaking of instant gratification, there’s the new search function, which allows you to search for pretty much anything. It’s like Google on an Edge. Towns, cafe’s, mountains, etc… Just search and it finds it – usually in under 5 seconds, sometimes instantly. And, it saves your search history too, making it easy to find perhaps foreign words that you painstakingly typed it slowly, only to previously have to type again.

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You can also search within point of interest (POI) categories. This includes a totally revamped category set, largely getting rid of automotive categories. Those things are still there, but they just aren’t top of the list and prominent anymore. Instead, first on the list is bike shops, which even pulled open bike pumps and compressor locations.

All of these things are routable on-demand. So you can just tap them and route to it. And again, all of them are virtually instant to search for and route to. Riding along this past weekend I was searching for all sorts of things easily (on a closed bike path with zero people around because it was too stupid hot to be outside), without any delay. It was amazing.

A new feature on the Edge 1040 is the addition of Up Ahead waypoints. This allows you to add waypoints in Garmin Connect for items, along with custom icons. The idea being you can add potential café stops, sprint lines, race-specific climbs, or whatever the heck you want:

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Then, out on the road there’s a new Up Ahead page, that works in real-time to tell you how far (via route) that next point is.

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This is super helpful when you just want a glanceable look at how far that blueberry pie slice from Chalet Reynard might be.

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The only downside though, is that this feature doesn’t appear to utilize either the known course grade or even Power Guide to figure out the estimated times. In the example above, it shows the top at only 22 minutes away, despite being 9% and 9KM away. Obviously, that ain’t gonna happen. In talking with Garmin, the feature currently uses your average speed to date (on that activity). Obviously, if your route includes flats/descents beforehand, that’ll adversely impact it (as it did for us).

Ultimately, the main changes on the Edge 1040 when it comes to mapping and navigation are around dramatic speed improvements, and cleanliness of the user interface, as well as increasing details on things like Climbs.  The ancillary major new feature I cover in the next section (Power Guide) depends on courses, but isn’t really navigation per se. Thus, thing of most of the 1040 changes as incremental in terms of new features, but massively faster in terms of ability to use them

Power Guide & New Training Load Pieces:

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This section is a bit of a combo-dish of new features that have arrived on the Edge 1040 that are largely focused on training load, racing, structured workouts, or categorization of you or your courses. In other words, this section is all about the new Edge 1040 features that are trying to make you faster.

At the core of things are the following main new features:

– Power Guide: This creates a complete race or training plan for a given course
– Cycling Ability: This identifies your cycling strength areas
– Real-Time Stamina: This tells you how far you can ride at a given intensity level, and if that’s sustainable
– Course Demands: This shows whether your cycling ability to handle this course well (or not)

There are more training load and recovery features of course from before, but the above are the main new ones. I’ll cover those mixed in here though as we plod along.

Let’s start with what is the most interesting of the group, which is Power Guide. Power Guide is akin to a race-plan for the power targets you need to hit, to achieve a certain time. This requires a power meter. In effect, it’s like a highly detailed race plan (perhaps a bit too highly detailed). For those familiar with Best Bike Split, or Garmin’s own running Pace Pro, it’s sorta a blend between those two.

To begin, Power Guide requires you have a course/route planned. Once that’s done, you’ll create your Power Guide program on either Garmin Connect Mobile (smartphone app), or Garmin Connect web (online). You’ll choose the course, and then from there you’ll specify the terrain type (if not already listed), as well as your weight, bike, and gear weight (and can change your FTP):

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After that you’ve got a simple slider that goes from ‘Easier’ to ‘Harder’, which is divided up into 10 levels. As you change that slider, it increases your power levels (and decreases your estimated completed time).

Down below, it’s subdivided the course into a million chunks. Each chunk is based on the specific terrain, so for example 4% vs 2% grade. The longer and more varying in terrain the course, the more chunks you’ve got. For example, compare this ~60KM route up Mont Ventoux and back down a different side with more rolling terrain. Garmin says the minimum segment (chunk) length is 200m. For Mont Ventoux and this ride I ended up with 40 segments.

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From there, you’ll send this to the Edge 1040, where you can choose to enable it on the course you ride. Once a plan is created, you can also tweak this on the Edge 1040 too:

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Once done, you’ll see this new Power Guide screen, which handily also includes a built-in ClimbPro mini-screen if you have climbs within it.

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At the top of the screen you’ve got the current section, which you can kinda think of as a lap. Again, depending on the terrain this could be very short or very long. Then below that you’ve got your 3-second power, guide planned power for this section, and your power for this section.

Below that is a terrain map with little blue dots indicating ups and downs in the power. And then below that is either a mini ClimbPro chart, or, on flatter sections, this is replaced with a mini-map and a some summary stats on the right side. Below you see 21w for the Guide Average. That was a bug that was fixed since my ride on Friday.

clip_image001[10]

What’s cool about this feature is that it’s not as naggy as having a ‘proper’ structured workout loaded in the unit. Unlike a structured workout, this doesn’t chirp/beep the entire time at each target change, or, if you’re out of zone. Plus, unlike a structured workout, you can change your target easy/hardness level (1-10) mid-ride. That as useful for me on Mont Ventoux when I may have set it a wee bit high, and then reigned it in slightly as I got settled in on the climb.

Now while this feature works great for solo rides/races/training, it won’t work so well in group rides or races with any sort of group/peloton. That’s because your power levels will drop in the draft, which will confuse this. Further, the ranges it gives are pretty big – upwards of an hour.

Next, there’s the new Course Demands feature. This allows you to load up any course and see what type of aerobic and anaerobic capacity you need to excel on this course, with the little marks noting the course demands relative to your capacity in colored sections:

DSC_1091

Practically speaking, I’m not sure this feature really adds much in its current iteration. I can’t imagine anyone looking at this and going “Oh, this course needs more aerobic capacity, I’ll skip it”. I get what Garmin is going for here, in demonstrating your potential shortcomings, but this kinda comes across as noise.

Slightly more interesting is the new Cycling Ability widget, which shows you what type of cyclist you are. For me, it initially identified me as a Flat Specialist, though later changed that to Endurance Specialist. You can tap to see an analysis of that with a smidge more detail.

DSC_1092 DSC_1093

Much of this of course ties in with the training load and load focus components, which have been around the Garmin ecosystem previously. The Training Load piece shows your load over the last 7 days, and shows you whether that load is appropriate to what your recent history (last four weeks). It’s a little wonky that Garmin doesn’t match this with the revamped Acute Load launched last week on the Forerunner 255/955 and coming to the Fenix 7/Epix/FR945 LTE. It’s very similar, but Acute load is better weighted, better named, and has better ‘tunnel’ guidance to help you more.

DSC_1097 DSC_1098

Meanwhile, your four week load shows up under Load Focus, which categorizes that training:

DSC_1100

Now it’s worthwhile nothing that post-ride you’ll get an estimated recovery time until your next hard ride. If you have another Garmin device (mainly, wearables), this will contribute via Physio True-Up into that, to allow for recovery planning. However, by itself without other Garmin wearables, the recovery time metric probably isn’t super useful, since it’s not going to account for things like sleep or other sports.

DSC_1101

Now, we do need to circle back to Stamina. This feature gives you real-time pacing into how much time/distance you have left till you die. Or, at least until you collapse. The theory behind this is that it looks at your current recovery time (from previous workout), as well as your heart rate to power ratios, and figures out how long you can sustain a given effort for. This was introduced on the Fenix & Epix watches, and then carried through to the Garmin Forerunner 955 as well. This is a real-time metric that doesn’t require having anything loaded. Here’s an example of it on a ride as I just cruised along:

vlcsnap-2022-06-08-04h48m43s412

Now, as I kick up the power levels and heart rate, it instantly starts to reduce my viable distance/time. Basically, it’s telling me how long/far I can go at that given intensity. Certainly, you can’t sustain a sprint forever, and this illustrates that:

vlcsnap-2022-06-08-04h49m01s564

When the little bar is green, that means you’re recovering or otherwise good. If it’s red, that means you’re burning the candle faster than you can likely recover.

Up until this past Friday, I’ve found Stamina incredibly accurate and on-point. Months of using it on the Fenix 7/Epix, and then Forerunner 955, it’s surprisingly good at nailing rides and how I feel, and how much energy I have left. But this past Mont Ventoux ride I finally managed to kill Stamina on both the Edge 1040 and Forerunner 955. Or, it killed me.

IMG_7601

Going into it, my Recovery Time was high from not just a ride the night prior, but also previous workouts. Add to that, it was being impacted by poor/no sleep, travel, and everything else. Here we are, about 3hrs or so into the ride, you can see, I’m dead. Yet, I still then pedaled on another 15-20KM including climbs.

clip_image001

Now what’s interesting, is looking at the data. One might argue I managed to pace this climb as perfectly as my ability allows, because I basically flat-lined just after the peak. Of course, the question then becomes – what is the definition of 0% Stamina? Is it “You cannot pedal anymore” or is it “You can uselessly continue pedaling, but you’re shot”?

So in this case, I went back to Garmin (without any context on my question) and asked for the definition of Stamina and what happens when you reach 0%. Herman Bonner, one of Garmin’s FirstBeat leads explained:

“When your Stamina and Potential Stamina are both zeroing out together, expect your ability to race in a meaningful way to be severely compromised.  It doesn’t mean that you are unable to put one foot in front of the other, falling off your bike, or passed out on the ground.

And similarly: If your Stamina is zeroing and you have Potential Stamina remaining, expect your ability to sprint/climb hard to be severely compromised, but you can probably drop your intensity safely below your anaerobic threshold and keep going.”

In this case, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. I dropped below my threshold, and kept on chugging along slowly to get to the hotel where fresh French baguettes, fresh French cheeses, and cookies awaited. But, at the same time, I was shot. There was nothing left in the tank on the descent, and it shows in my power numbers.

And this ultimately matches the same experience in other times where I’ve managed to basically zero it out, including one 7-hour ride earlier this year on the Fenix 7, arriving back at the hotel with 1% remaining (and I was shot then too). So to that end, this feature seems to be working pretty well for me

GPS Accuracy:

DSC_1106

There’s likely no topic that stirs as much discussion and passion as GPS or heart rate accuracy.  A watch could fall apart and give you dire electrical shocks while doing so, but if it shows you on the wrong side of the road?  Oh hell no, bring on the fury of the internet!

GPS accuracy can be looked at in a number of different ways, but I prefer to look at it using a number of devices in real-world scenarios across a vast number of activities.  I use 2-6 other devices at once, trying to get a clear picture of how a given set of devices handles conditions on a certain day.  Conditions include everything from tree/building cover to weather.

In almost all these tests, the Edge 1040 Solar was in the default multiband configuration, the highest GPS accuracy. Though, I also did some in regular GPS mode too, just out of curiosity to see how it’d do.

To spoil you bothering to read this section, I’ll simply say upfront that there’s no bike computer anywhere near the accuracy of the Edge 1040. Just like what we’re seeing with Garmin’s other new multiband GPS-enabled units, the accuracy continues to get better and better. And that’s especially the case in more challenging terrain/conditions, where it really shows how impressive it is (see my recent Forerunner 955 review for that).

Nonetheless, here’s a few samples, starting off with a 50KM ride through the French countryside, including some forested sections, but also some tiny villages where we purposefully ‘explored’ the tight buildings. And in this case, I had my unit on regular GPS, while Des had his 1040 on multi-band GPS. We rode side by side. Starting off the high level, things look pretty normal.

Accuracy1040-Chat1

As we go around round-abouts, it’s absolutely perfect tracks:

Accuracy1040-Chat3

But check out this section here, inside this tiny town with some ‘roads’ barely 2 meters wide. You can see just how tight the two Edge 1040 tracks are, despite being blocked by 2-3 story buildings.

Accuracy1040-Chat2

So let’s step it up. Here we’ve got a ride up Mont Ventoux, then back down a different size with more twisty roads and sharper cliffs. Again, at a high level, things look totally fine (this is compared to a Hammerhead Karoo 2, Forerunner 955, and Forerunner 255):

Accuracy1040-Ventoux1

But the separation is in the detail. Check out this deep forested section and look at how perfect the Edge 1040 is – on the correct side of this tiny mountain road, where the Karoo 2 is on the other side.

Accuracy1040-Ventoux3

Or here during fast descents, where the Edge 1040 Solar correctly hugs the inside line of the road. The Karoo pulls a Lance Armstrong and cuts the corner, while the two watches are out in the middle of the road. I know this is trivial stuff, but it’s fascinating to see.

Accuracy1040-Ventoux5

When you’re looking at more generic sections of roadway on the mountain, they look closer, but you can still see the differences in track stability compared to the Karoo 2 and how that wobbles a bit.

Accuracy1040-Ventoux2

As far as elevation on this one, the Garmin 1040 and Forerunner 955 slowly drifted together, whereas the Karoo 2 and Forerunner 255 slowly drifted together. Which one was right? Well, the top elevation of Mont Ventoux is listed as 1,909m, and the Edge 1040/955 combo was 1,892 (vs 1,843 for the Karoo 2/FR255 combo). So the 1040 was the closest here.

Accuracy1040-VentouxElevation

Last up for now, we’ve got a ride including some tunnels/bridges and other goodness out into the countryside:

Accuracy1040-Marken1

Check out this section over this bridge, where it puts me exactly on the edge of the bridge, within bike path. Not off the bridge in the water, not in traffic, but exactly on the bike path:

Accuracy1040-Marken2

About the only tiny blip I could find was here, when I pass under a set of railroad tracks in a tunnel, and in one direction it’s flawless, but in the other direction where I make a 90* turn right before the tunnel, once it loses GPS it seems to try and continue the turn angle for a few meters. But c’mon, this is really nitpicking.

Accuracy1040-Marken3

Additionally, while I wasn’t able to get any mountain biking in this go around, my friend DesFit did include a bunch in his video review, which you can review here.

Ultimately, all of the data DesFit, GPLAMA, and Myself see across these units is astonishingly good, and inline with other multiband GPS efforts we’ve seen from Garmin, which lay down very impressive tracks – especially in harder situations.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy portions were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, running power, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Wrap-Up:

DSC_1108

It’s pretty easy to say the Edge 1040 Solar is the most advanced and accurate bike GPS we’ve seen to date, from any company. And I’m pretty sure it’s also the longest-lasting bike GPS too battery-wise, with the potential to go well beyond its published battery specs. As I’ve seen and shown with stats above, it easily almost doubles their published official specs under the most ‘demanding’ power-draw scenarios, despite just half-hearted sun conditions. And if we look at the new multi-band GPS and accuracy, it continues to lead the way, even slightly edging out the newest Forerunner 955.

The new software features like Power Guide can potentially be super useful to the right groups of people (namely those that train or race individually). Personally, I find the Up Ahead feature more useful on longer rides to be able to figure out how far I have untill certain waypoints/locations at a quick glance. The same goes for Stamina, I find that’s a good proxy for when I’ll bonk, and perhaps change my pacing strategy to compensate for it.

Still, there are some quirks that show the lack of lockstep within the Garmin realm – especially when compared with the higher-end Forerunner 955 that was launched just last week. That includes WiFi map downloads (the Edge 1040 doesn’t), and also has the newer training load/recovery terminology that the Edge 1040 lacks. Garmin says that the Edge 1040 will start to incorporate these newer metrics in Q3 later this year, but I just feel like this kind of stuff should be baseline matching for a company like Garmin on flagship releases.

As I noted in my video, I ran into a substantial number of mostly minor bugs during my testing period. However, the latest firmware update yesterday seems to have checked off and fixed each issue I’ve had, which included numerous sync issues, cases of the unit having amnesia, and forgetting what I did the day before (rides/PR’s/etc…), as well as incorrect power guide data. At this point, only time will tell though, none of the issues I could easily repeat on-demand last week are happening now with this latest firmware. One issue I do want to revisit is slow gradient changes, for which I did see issues last week, but need to double-check it on a hill later today (I don’t have many/any suitable hills near me, so that requires a bit of travel). I’ll report back on that one. There’s often a balance there between accuracy and responsiveness. [Update: My bugs are back. Both the amnesia one and Power Guide. Garmin says they now know what’s causing both, and it’ll be fixed in the first update release. I don’t have an exact date, but sounds like a days thing rather than a weeks thing. Also, others are reporting issues when you install a CIQ data field, it’ll cause sensor dropouts.]

Ultimately though, if you’re on an older Edge unit, or, looking for arguably the best bike computer in the market, the Edge 1040 or Edge 1040 Solar won’t disappoint. I’m not sure it’s worthwhile upgrading from an Edge 1030 Plus, but I think if you’ve got just about anything else, it’ll feel like an entirely new device – both in capabilities, but also accuracy, and battery life.

With that, thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

This magnetless Garmin Cadence Sensor attached to your crank arm and transmits cadence over both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart to apps, watches, or bike computers.

This is a set of Garmin magnetless speed and cadence sensors. Both transmits over ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, but the speed sensor also can record rides without a bike computer - perfect for using on a commuter bike.

Garmin RTL515 Varia Radar

The Garmin Varia radar alerts you to cars coming up behind you, well before you see them. It's awesome for quieter roads (country roads/mountains), especially on longer rides. It's less useful for city riding.

The Garmin Varia radar alerts you to cars coming up behind you, well before you see them. It's awesome for quieter roads (country roads/mountains), especially on longer rides. It's less useful for city riding. The RVR315 skips the light.

This magnetless Garmin speed sensor transmits your speed on ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, but more notably, it also has memory so it can save rides even when not paired to a bike computer/watch, then quietly offloads them to your phone later on. Perfect for a commuter bike.

The Edge remote allows you to control functions (like data pages/screens, and laps) wirelessly right from your handlebars/drops. Super handy for mountain biking where taking your hands off the bars might be a bad idea.

Garmin Edge Snap-on Battery

If you need to go *REALLY* long with a Garmin Edge device, this snap-on/under weatherproof battery pack basically gets you double your battery life. It snaps under your existing Edge with an included mount. It can also be used as a standard USB battery back too (for your phone/etc...).

The HRM-DUAL strap transmits not only concurrently on ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, but actually has two Bluetooth channels, making it perfect for pairing to Zwift at the same time you also have it paired to another device/app via Bluetooth.

The HRM-PRO is Garmin's top-end chest strap. It transmits dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but also transmits Running Dynamics metrics, stores HR data during a swim, and can be used without a watch for other sports. Also, it can transmit XC Skiing Dynamics as well.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

This magnetless Garmin Cadence Sensor attached to your crank arm and transmits cadence over both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart to apps, watches, or bike computers.

This is a set of Garmin magnetless speed and cadence sensors. Both transmits over ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, but the speed sensor also can record rides without a bike computer - perfect for using on a commuter bike.

Garmin RTL515 Varia Radar

The Garmin Varia radar alerts you to cars coming up behind you, well before you see them. It's awesome for quieter roads (country roads/mountains), especially on longer rides. It's less useful for city riding.

The Garmin Varia radar alerts you to cars coming up behind you, well before you see them. It's awesome for quieter roads (country roads/mountains), especially on longer rides. It's less useful for city riding. The RVR315 skips the light.

This magnetless Garmin speed sensor transmits your speed on ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, but more notably, it also has memory so it can save rides even when not paired to a bike computer/watch, then quietly offloads them to your phone later on. Perfect for a commuter bike.

The Edge remote allows you to control functions (like data pages/screens, and laps) wirelessly right from your handlebars/drops. Super handy for mountain biking where taking your hands off the bars might be a bad idea.

Garmin Edge Snap-on Battery

If you need to go *REALLY* long with a Garmin Edge device, this snap-on/under weatherproof battery pack basically gets you double your battery life. It snaps under your existing Edge with an included mount. It can also be used as a standard USB battery back too (for your phone/etc...).

The HRM-DUAL strap transmits not only concurrently on ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, but actually has two Bluetooth channels, making it perfect for pairing to Zwift at the same time you also have it paired to another device/app via Bluetooth.

The HRM-PRO is Garmin's top-end chest strap. It transmits dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but also transmits Running Dynamics metrics, stores HR data during a swim, and can be used without a watch for other sports. Also, it can transmit XC Skiing Dynamics as well.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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489 Comments

  1. jurij terglav

    Excellent!
    What is recording interval, Ray; 1s or smaller?
    THX

    • Sam

      Will there be a 540 soon?

    • MikeF

      What a disappointment! Same screen real-estate (bezels), same screen resolution (at least 10 years out-of-date) and no LTE. These would be my main requirements for the 1040.

      The vast majority of features are irrelevant for many if not most riders. How many users actually race and need all these training features? Even if they do race, how many go wild with metrics & statistics?

      As for Solar, who really needs it? You can buy a small battery charger for a few dollars for those (very few) going days without electricity.

      As you say “Evolution not Revolution”, but a revolution was needed. I have the 1000 as I didn’t see the 1030 as an upgrade, so 5 years on to come up with basically the same hardware.

      Bottom line: The effort has been put into far too many features the majority will not use and ignored the main hardware overhaul requirements.

    • Nuno

      Agree with almost everything you say. But if you upgrade to a 1030, you will noticed how fast everything works.

    • MatthewQC

      > “As for Solar, who needs it?”

      Personally, as a randonneur and cyclotourist, where I’m riding for four days straight, this is a very compelling option. Garmin has historically not been good at charge-as-you-ride, and turning the GPS off to charge it for a few hours isn’t really an option either when your longest dirt nap might be an hour or two tops.

    • Thomas

      And what is the default? Still “smart”? 😀

    • Terry Jones

      Back in February, Wiggle listed 530 and 830 Plus on their website for a couple of days, the URL even had ‘plus’ within it. I was expecting them to appear soon after but still waiting….

    • Richard

      Has the SD card slot gone?

    • Johnny

      All the bits make for a better user experience.
      Although I fully agree, there’s still things to wish for… Garmins edge line does improve with every new release.

      Having owned more or less all Garmin cycling products, I’d say 1000 to 1030+ was a significant upgrade.

      Solar, very pleasant. Most people might not need all that battery time… but more and more it eliminates those “shit, forgot to charge my Garmin” moments. One more thing one doesn’t need to think about.
      Small charger: whilst riding?!

    • MikeF

      In reply to Matthew & Thomas:
      One of the main upgrades is battery time, touted at 35 – 100 hrs. Even for real enthusiasts, 35 hrs will be 5-7 rides, e.g. days, let alone using the battery saver mode. You do not ride all day and if you forget to charge for even 2-3 days, then well….

      Another reviewer wrote:
      – Starting my ride at 14:00 (thanks to time zones, the sun reached its zenith here at 13:11) and finishing at around 16:00, I only added around 3 mins to the 1040 Solar – and this was in June. So my expectations for charge gained during a lot of UK riding aren’t so great. –

      In general a lot of reviewers are stating that the 1040 is overpriced and, apart from the battery & GNSS, is not much of an upgrade compared to the 1030+, which is nearly as good an option, especially when it’s starts to get really discounted.
      Most of the “features” are software related and as the 1030+ has the same chip, Garmin could port them to it, but of course probably won’t.

      I have bought the 1040 because, as Nuno stated, it is a major upgrade from my 1000 and I have the money. Those who do not should maybe wait a little and get a cheap’ish 1030+.

    • JJ L

      Are those the only two possible options? What is smart? In Garmin’s outdoor hiking units, in addition to 1s, there is auto where Garmin will intelligently determine when to record a point. I’m guessing that is based on where it detects movement.

      Can the Edge 1040 record at a 1s interval into a GPX file? Will it auto archive it after the end of the calendar day and record a new track? How do I export the tracks to my PC?

      Thanks!

    • Auto is basically smart, just re-worded. Realistically, you don’t want to use it.

      It doesn’t save battery, it only saves track file space, for which is an outdated thing that Garmin still hasn’t gotten rid of. There’s simply no reason to be trying to save a few KB of space on a 32GB unit. Simple math says an hour of riding is roughly 100kb of data (including a power meter/HR sensor/etc…) at 1s recording rates. So, 10 hours is 1MB, and 1,000hrs is 1GB. Or 32,000 hours of riding on a 32GB uni – or 64,000 hours on a 64GB unit. Obviously, you lose a few hours for maps and such. But I’m going to assume exactly nobody will ever ride that much.

      To put in perspective, 32,000 hours of riding would be 3.6 years of riding 24hrs a day. 🙂

      As for exporting tracks, you can export to .GPX from Garmin Connect online, or, you can use the .FIT files natively on your device.Virtually every application has supported .FIT files for almost a decade now.

    • Graham

      Exactly – I have just ordered one to replace my trusty-but-dying 810, which just about lasts 12-13 hours these days. I’m riding a 600k this weekend where I will be riding for probably 17-18 hours on the first day and another 10-12 the next day (roughly). With the 810 I would have to stop sometime on the first afternoon to charge it from a battery, with the 1040 Solar I would easily get through the whole thing without needing to charge (assuming it arrives in time…).

      I’m also doing a 125-hour time limit event in August (London-Edinburgh-London) where I’ll be riding similar durations each day, and based on DCR’s stats above I might even get through the whole thing on battery saver mode without charging.

      There’s no guarantee that I’ll have access to mains for charging at the controls and I don’t want to be lugging a massive battery pack – would rather keep it reserved for my phone.

      My 810 is also having a lot of problems with routing, it seems to have started corrupting the route files on the device somehow – it needed replacing anyway.

  2. Mats

    Finally, been holding off replacing my old Edge 820 and I think I will go for the 1040 non-solar
    Thanks for an excellent review!

  3. krob

    Thanks for the review!

    Quick question: Does the unit heat up considerably when you leave it in the sun to charge? (so, without the wind you get when riding)

  4. Volker

    The benefit of the solar charging seems really to be great.

    The review is great, but I have to dive deeper in it!

  5. Maciek

    Now I’m waiting for 840 🙂

    • Heinrich Hurtz

      Yeah. Me too. I still don’t want a phablet on my bars…and I don’t need no new stinkin’ features. I’d be happy with RELIABLE core functionality.

  6. Jeff Koontz

    Awesome review as always and I wish my 530 wasnt still running strong, but there are some features here that could be game changers for me with the solar battery.

    When you discussed solar and battery run rate, you mentioned that you gained battery life that you then extrapolated out to 46 and 60 hours of battery life respectively for the two rides. However, I’m curious if that extrapolation takes into account the time spent at night if we were talking about riding continuously? I guess I assume you are assuming it’s just multiple rides totalling 46 or 60 hours over several days during the daytime.

    As we have Paris-Brest-Paris coming up next year, I think a lot of people will be wondering if the 1040 can survive P-B-P on one charge (and the impact of starting Sunday evening vs Monday morning for available daylight).

    Thanks again,
    Jeff

    • The solar battery run rate is calculated by looking at the battery burn rates throughout the ride, so it’s basically a linear calculation.

      So at night, it’d go down, but also at the same time, none of my solar days were really that strong – so someone going through the night isn’t all that much different. I’ll add some more rainy-day charts here soon.

  7. Frans

    What about the charging times? I could not see anything on what charging standard (PD or QC) is used?
    This is interesting for eg Randonee where cykling for a few days with minimum still time could make life easier if the 1040 could be quickly bumped at a pit stop 🙂

    • Hmm, I’ll get some clarity. Frankly, between the solar (non-riding times) and long battery life, I’ve only briefly charged it while plugging it into the computer for unrelated things.

    • Frans

      Yes, I agree that for 99.9% of usage battery time is not a problem. 🙂

      The 0.01% that I, and I see a few other in the thread, is after is when one ride go on for several days, and the sleep is not necessarily indoors, it would be great if the 1040 can be bumped by a quick charge while stopping at a control for getting the stamp and some energy. Or for that matter just plugging in a powerbank on the bike for a “shorter” while, thus minimizing the need for a power cord during the ride. Currently I use the Karoo2, which I really like for navigation, but the battery life requires the USB to be plugged in all the time.

      And thank you for your detailed and trustworthy reviews! 🙂

    • Ok, got some clarity from Garmin:

      A) Charge time is 2 hours for empty to full
      B) Fastest charging supported is a 3A/5W charger
      C) Roughly speaking 5 minutes of charging will equal one hour of riding (which, matches what I see)

    • Frans

      Thank you! 🙂

    • Ryan

      Hey Ray, are those numbers right? Maybe I’m still just in “I need to finish coffee mode”, but if it’s 2 hours from empty to full, it would surprise me that 5 minutes of charging is one minute of riding. Maybe other way around? Otherwise 120 minutes of charging would be 24 minutes of ride time.

    • Oops! One hour of riding. 🤣

  8. Bort

    Did they finally surpass the 100 strava segment limit?

    • MosesP

      I’d like to know as well, the 100 Segment limit made me buy a wahoo bolt v2 but im not liking it. Id go for the 1040 if that limit was removed.

  9. TimB

    Can we expect new models such as 540 and 840 as well?

  10. Jes

    There’s one instance of “Edge 1040 Plus”. Spoiler for what’s to come or typo? *wink*

  11. Onno

    What exactly is new about the Up Ahead waypoints? Adding waypoints to a course in Connect and displaying a list of upcoming waypoints has been possible for a long time, at least on my Edge 5×0 units.

  12. Volker

    Maybe I have overlooked it, but I assume you can ise the Edge 1040/1040s also as a inReach remote with a paired/connected iR device?

  13. dodger

    Hi Ray, will any of the new features follow down to the slightly older 530, 830 and 1030 plus models?

  14. Frank

    Nice review.

    Would rather fancy an onboard bell and a small headlight than 339392299 features I will never use.

    • Rob

      Oh yeah, I would love those two features. Good call. 🔦

      I wrote in the Forerunner review that I’d personally also love a camera 📷 for Strava pics.

      I saw yesterday that Meta just cancelled a watch-with-cameras project, sadly. Not that I’d have bought it because of Meta’s data collection, but I’d love the prompt.

  15. Felix

    There is one software flaw, which always bugs me when using Garmin: With an active activity, I cannot push (via Bluetooth sync) a new route to the device.

    Here’s why that is important: I’m out on a ride, but my preplanned route is no longer good (blocked roads, need to shortcut, whatever). Then I’d like to adapt on my smartphone the route via Komoot or Strava. But then this software flaw is hitting: You cannot sync this new route to the device unless you stop the activity and then start a new one (which is cumbersome and I have to do manual fit file editing afterwards). Any chance this is addressed with the new software/UI?

    • While you are waiting for that, you can use my GRouteLoader widget to do that to download routes from RWGPS.

      (It might take a few days to release a version for the 1040.)

    • Matthew

      See reply 44 below from Ray:
      You can send new routes mid-ride, yes. I only know this because I had one ride where I started the ride and was waiting and waiting for the sync (due to a bug), and it showed up half-way through the ride, and I finally added it. 🙂

    • David Pawlyk

      The update to my IQ app/widget is out for the 1040.

    • ronald

      Does your app work with Komoot and Strava as well?
      loading routes from Komoot and Strava while activity is running still not possible, correct?

  16. Piotr Gruchala

    Hi Ray. Quick question regarding 1040. Other bike GPS’s, like Wahoo, has the option to edit the route during the activity, for example route is downloaded to Wahoo from Komoot and then close to the end it can be amended (on my phone) and I cam add for example the hotel address (sync through phone). This was not possible on 1030 as it always said that I can’t update Komoot route unless I finish the existing route (I do not want to do this as then I will have 2 activities). Do you know if this is now possible on 1040?

    • Maciek

      Maybe Resume Later from last Fenix / Epix will help ?

    • You can’t edit the pushed route file per se mid-ride, but you can certainly update the final destination without any issue mid-ride to a new address. Or, to a new route file mid-ride (with a different name), without any problem.

    • Maciek

      OK. But the question was. If I am able to sync new route during activity ?
      Either from Komoot IQ app or via Garmin Connect.

    • Nate C

      On the Fenix, you can stop the route and “Resume later”, sync the new route/workout and then resume the activity, choosing the new route via the navigation menu.

      I can’t remember if my edge 830 has resume later but it’s worth checking out. (You might also be able to sync a route/power plan file from BestBikeSplit’s widget also.)

    • Yes, you can sync a new route mid-ride. I did that on Thursday last week when a route wasn’t loading pre-ride, started the ride anyways (Des had the route so I just followed him), and then finally an hour later the thing synced and I was able to load it up.

      (The sync thing was a transient bug with what Garmin believes was actually a backend system, hosing me for a few days)

    • Benedikt

      Thanks for that information. To be honest, this was one of mytiping points if I buy another Garmin or something else.

  17. NotMrMoneyBags

    Ray,

    If we have the 955, is there much we lose by getting an edge unit that allows for extended display from a software sense? I assume Power Guide and Stamina don’t show on extended displays but training load and recovery would be captured on the watch and in connect where You’d likely want to browse it anyways.

    I have a 520 so I am unable to test extended display with my watch and am not sure I want to drop the money on the 1040 when I may get most everything I need from a slightly older model allowing extended display.

    Thanks!

    • Hmm, I haven’t tried extended display with it. So I’d have to do some poking there.

    • madmalkav

      Really interested in knowing about this too, as someone that rarely uses the bike this sounds like a great idea.

    • Nate C

      It is frustrating that even if you own a recent watch and relatively recent Edge, you have to choose which device will give you the recording in Connect with the metrics you want. I value accurate temperature recording via Tempe ant+ devices under my seat, so I have to record on my Fenix 7x which thankfully will record Stamina, but it’s limited to only two connectIQ fields so it is more limited in storing additional data compared to the 10 connectIQ field limit on the edge 830 (which won’t record stamina or accurate temperatures since they took away tempe sensors).

    • Paul S.

      I don’t think the Tempe has ever been supported by any Edge. It’s something I’ve never understood. I’ve had a Tempe since it came out with the original Fenix.

    • Nate C

      My edge 810 supported the Tempe and lost it when I upgraded to 830.

    • Paul S.

      Didn’t know that. I’ve gone from 705 to 800 to 1000 to 830 and none of them supported Tempe (in the case of the 800 and 705 that’s not surprising). The only things I’ve had that do support Tempe are the watches (original Fenix, original Epix, Fenix 5+) and my VIRB 360. Again, I’ve never understood it, since the temperature from a tiny greenhouse mounted on handlebars is bound to be wrong when the Sun’s out. Tempe’s can be mounted in the shade at least.

    • Pete

      There’s a ConnectIQ data field you can add which will record temperature from a Tempe. CRTTempeField – link to apps.garmin.com

    • Nate C

      Thanks for pointing this out! Just queued up for my 830! It will make it easier for me to see a more accurate temperature while riding!

    • GLENN PEDERSEN

      It supports more then 4 data fields. Worked with 8 data fields, but No maps.

  18. Matti R

    Thanks for the excellent review. Not that I expected anything less from you 🙂

    Even though you are probably not the best person to comment Shimano STEPS support, I would like to know how it differs with the current support in Edge 1030 Plus (or even standard 1030)? You’d been able to have assist level, range, cadence and battery status also with those.

    Regards,
    Matti R

  19. Tommy

    Great review. When can we expect shipping. I note the pages are up on Wiggle but showing “product no longer available”

  20. Zach

    How does the “mountain bike specific” trail data work? Does it still include trailforks basemaps overlay? Or is it just using heat maps and not giving us the trail names and difficulty (which the 1030 gave us?)

    Also, with the 1030 and earlier, we needed to use speed sensors to track accurate distance for singletrack – I’d assume this is still the case with 1040?
    Thanks

    • A blend of TrailForks data along with the Garmin MTB (or gravel) specific trail/popularity data.

      While I didn’t have any deep MTB testing this go around, DesFit did (who is sitting next to me), and his tracks look incredible in the deep Colorado MTB trails.

  21. Nick Payne

    Does the 1040 have the same problems and inaccuracies as the ones on the 1030+ that Garmin seem to have no interest in fixing? The ones that annoy me every day are the thermometer always being several degrees away from reality, and gradient and elevation being glacially slow to indicate anywhere near the correct value.

    • Paul S.

      The temperature, unfortunately, is the result of a thermometer inside a little greenhouse. Every Edge I’ve had has had that problem in the sun, and when I stop, there’s an inevitable temperature spike recorded. On cloudy days temperature is pretty accurate. Garmin could remedy the problem by allowing an Edge to pair with their ANT+ Tempe temperature sensor (which can be stashed somewhere out of the sun) but they don’t. As for elevation and gradient, if you calibrate before every ride elevation is usually pretty good for me, although my Edge 830, like other Garmin devices I’ve had, displays one elevation and records a different one (the difference is small). Gradient will always lag simply because of the way they seem to be computing it (elevation gain/distance) since they can’t look into the future. They don’t, so far as I can tell, have an inclinometer inside (and how would you calibrate that).

    • Giuseppe

      Excellent questiosn. Specially regarding the unbelievably slow response to displaying aany grade changes! Garmin engineers said a delay of 10 – 15 seconds was “normal”! Are they crazy? The Edge 1000 was awesome in this respect. The 1030 Plus and now the 1040… NOT ready for primetime.

      I think if this issue was repaired DCR would have clearly mentioned it. Obviously it hasn’t.

    • Nick Payne

      I’m not talking about inaccurate temperature readings in the sun – I don’t expect any sort of accurate temperature indication in that situation. The problem is that on cloudy days when there’s no direct sun on the unit, the temperature readings are still several degrees high. There are several threads about the problem on the Garmin 1030+ forum.

      And the dysfunctional elevation and gradient behaviour is by comparison with previous Garmin cycling GPS units. I still have the Edge 1000 that the 1030+ was a replacement for. If I mount both of them on my handlebars and go up and down some hills, it’s very apparent that the 1000 reponds far more rapidly to changes in elevation and gradient. Again, there are several long threads on the 1030+ forum regarding this shortcoming.

    • Paul S.

      That must be a 1030 problem, then. My 830, as I said, is pretty accurate on overcast days. The 1030 is bigger and probably has a bigger battery, so it might just be the bigger electronics/battery in a sealed box that are causing what you see. Garmin already provides a solution; it’s a shame they don’t let an Edge use it.

      I have a 1000. Haven’t used it regularly in ~ 3 years, and used it last a few months ago (on the trainer; the 830 was suffering lots of dropouts and I wanted to try the 1000 to see if it was any better). Last time I used it outdoors was probably 6 or more months ago (left the 830 on and it discharged). I’m going to try it a few time in the next week or so to see how it performs. My memory, though, is that it was nothing special compared to the 800 I used earlier or the 830 I use now, but then I don’t pay that much attention to altitude or grade while I ride. We’ll see for sure soon.

    • Paul S.

      So I rode with my 1000 today. You’re right, the slope data field is refreshed more rapidly than on my 830. The numbers changed more frequently. But they didn’t seem like they were much more accurate just because of that. Several times I was going up small inclines and it showed a negative slope. The big test on the big climb, where I went from -2 to +13 very quickly, it was a little faster than the 830 to get to 13, but it still took it a few seconds to get there.

      But I was reminded of a problem that I had forgotten about concerning the altitude readings on the 1000. It clips peaks. The highest point on this ride is 1915 ft, and the 1000 was showing 1880 ft at the top. I remember that this was a common problem, and that it seemed to be seasonal. My guess then and now is that it doesn’t do temperature correction when it uses the standard atmosphere in going from pressure to altitude. In the summer it clips, in the fall it’s pretty good, in the winter it’s high.

      Unfortunately slope isn’t a field that’s recorded in the FIT file, so there’s no way to compare after the fact. I’ll probably ride with it a couple of more times over the next two weeks or so, but my one ride impression is that it’s faster to refresh but not really more accurate so far as slope is concerned, and that it has an recurring (minor) altitude problem the 830 doesn’t.

    • Giuseppe

      Which is why the UK cyclists are seeking a group class action refund.

      Garmin is not delivering the goods it states and markets openly and publicly on their device.

      Curiously, my Garmin Edge 1000 is WAY MORE FASTER AND VALID re. slope changes and elevation – compared to the 1030 plus.
      Will certainly not buy a 1040, as it’s same hardware guts.

      Would you be happy if you bought a house that the seller said had perfectly functioning items, but in actual fact, didn’t?

  22. Nathan

    If I were to have both Forerunner 255 and Edge 1040, should I be wearing the watch while I cycle? Not recording. Curious if this will screw up the load and recovery metrics, or does Garmin server software sort this out?

    Thanks

    • laurie3790

      I’m also curious about this, the last generation of devices resolved so badly that I had to use my watch to record both

    • At the moment, it’s messy. You can use Physio True-Up and it will port the data back to the FR255 just fine. But not things like Body Battery, so I’d wear both.

    • Peter Z.

      Bummer, because you end up with duplicate activities that way, right? I hadn’t caught that discrepancy when using my Edge 1030 for biking versus Fenix 6 for running/swimming

    • TylerD

      Grrr why hasn’t Garmin figured this out?? Their devices should be able to work seamlessly with one another by this point (not conflicting/duplicating). This has been a problem for the longest time.

      You’d think they would have prioritized this long ago, as it would certainly encourage people to buy more of their products. It’s a shame.

    • Benedikt

      Using FR945, Epix 2 and Edge 830: the server sorts it out. You can wear the watch and record on the edge. I also wear a HRM Pro, so two sources for intensity minutes are also available.

      There have been issues years ago wich the Garmin Forums refer to if you find old posts.

    • Andrew M

      I wear, but do not record on, my Fenix while cycling, preferring to use my 530 as it is easier to read. Body Battery picks this up just fine, and no duplicates.

    • I ride and record with an Edge 1030 Plus and a Vivoactive 4 for back up purposes. (I’m also a scuba diver so I’m all about redundant back up systems.) So yes, you do get duplicate activities, but once I have confirmed that the 1030 Plus activity has uploaded correctly, I delete the VA 4 version. And I have True-Up enabled too.

  23. Karl-Eric Devaux

    Thanks for the review
    I admire your effort to have to go to those lovely places and bike for those reviews – your abnegation is amazing
    my 4 years old BOLT is showing its age and I am wondering what to do – you might have influenced my decision

    • I have tried two Garmins to be back ups/alternatives to my Elemnt and gave up on both. Buggy or clunky and painful to use compared to the Wahoo.
      Thought you were beta testing Wahoo stuff?

    • dimitris

      As a mainly Garmin User for so many years (edge 800 edge 1000 fenix 6X pro Solar and other NUVI etc) i fed up with the whole Edge idea. I got wahoo bolt V2. Complexity of use is the main bad point of all that devices comparing Wahoo. Simple to use you can do pretty much everything you need and mainly great customer support if you need them. I can do everything i do with 1000 without the extra big screen and without any effort during cycling. Rerouting, routing plan, climb, Resuming race after Switching off and on it works as they should. For my Garmin have just stalled for my needs

  24. Alex

    Hey Ray,

    will it finally be possible to synchronize new routes (i.e. Komoot) during an activity? (without being forced to stop it)

    Thanks
    Alex

    • You can send new routes mid-ride, yes. I only know this because I had one ride where I started the ride and was waiting and waiting for the sync (due to a bug), and it showed up half-way through the ride, and I finally added it. 🙂

  25. dodger

    Does this device allow you to sync a new course even if you have already started an activity?
    The Wahoo’s allow this function but in the past any Garmin Edge device doesn’t allow it.

  26. Pit Neitemeier

    Small typo in the mapping & navigation section:
    says “It’ll display a little mini-AMP that includes turn information as you approach each turn:”
    should say mini-map instead.
    Thanks for the excellent review!

  27. Daniel

    Hello, is it finally possible to upload course for navigation to the device mid-ride activity? I would like ability to change my route on my phone mid ride and upload it to the device without stopping activity.

    • Yes, you can send routes to it mid-ride, and it’ll sync those in and you can open them.

    • Maciek

      Is there an option to stop ride and resume later like in Fenix?

    • No, just save/discard.

    • Phillip Revie

      Oh now that’s a bummer. I didn’t even think to ask this until Maciek did above.

      It’s one of those “why give it stupid long battery life if you can’t use it for multi day adventures built into 1 activity” kind of things.

      For multi day adventure races or backpacking, i LOVE that feature on my Fenix 7x Solar.

    • Andrew M

      Ray,

      On my 530, I can effectively do this by long pressing the power button, then selecting Sleep.

      Does the 1040 not offer this functionality??

  28. Toni

    Then new 1030plus reloaded…. all “new”

  29. JC

    Hey Ray!

    Do you know whether the power guide feature will make it to the Fenix 7 series?

  30. Martin C

    Great review as always!

    Do you know if Cycling Ability will come to the Forerunner 955?

  31. chukko

    Damn. Now that Garmin removed support for Varia Vision it makes sense that Karoo wasnt going to support it either. So it looks like Garmin is going to kill Varia Vision completely, right?
    Sounds sad as i really liked it. If it also had the feature to show the next 2 turns – it would be all i need for doing downhills on a road bike.

  32. The Real Bob

    While I am normally on the side of the manufacturer about adding features to older units, I think this is a bit crappy for 1030 plus owners. The 1030 plus is a pretty new device. I can understand them bypassing the older 1030, but not the plus. I wouldn’t be against paying a fee to upgrade my 1030 plus.

  33. Arstmars

    meh, seems a bit uninspired to me. Thanks for the review, but I think I will pass on this one.
    Maybe Garmin really needs to loose some market share before finally getting things like music and NFC payments right.
    In general Garmin has been lacking revolutionary changes lately in all their offerings and only been incrementing slowly. Reminds me of Intel, to be honest.

  34. Neil Jones

    Any accessibility improvements yet, such as adjustable font size for pop-up warnings, or is reaching middle age still something that only happens to other people as far as Garmin devs are concerned?

    • Nuno Pinto

      Agree, it is time to allow big fonts, and increase the size of the triangle showing our locations on the map.

    • Nothing that I can see/find. I’ll ask though.

    • Matt

      Thanks for the review. Agree with the two posts above. With the new UI I was hoping for some better options re font sizing. Perhaps you could do a few comparison photos from e.g. edge 530 vs. 1040 to show if there is any change in physical font display for the smaller fonts? E.g. very frustrating for me on climbpro screen the hard coded dist to go font is pretty small – add in some sun reflection or auto dimmed screen and its unreadable for me. The new features (power guide, stamina) sound great and I would use them but not much point if the data is too small to read. And please, feel free to remind the Garmin guys that eyesight for people north of age 45 will commonly need reading glasses and they should consider that in their GUI design 😉

    • Matt

      Actually, just looking at the promo shot for the ClimbPro screen on Edge1040, it does look like many of the fonts would be quite a bit bigger than equivalent screen on the 530. For example, Dist to Go looks much bigger. But Grade Remain is still tiny. So even if they are not adjustable its at least some improvement in the direction I was hoping for.

      Would still nice to seem some comparison screens though… I have almost talked myself into an upgrade 🙂

    • Some considerations are being made around font size stuff for easier accessibility/visibility, but no exact timeframes yet on implementation dates.

    • Giuseppe

      Hey DCR: While you’re at it – Can you also please ask Garmin whether their gradient change lag issue has been addressed in this 1040 model / “evolutionary” upgrade?

    • Chris

      That’d be wonderful, thank you! I depend on big fonts and have been stuck to the Wahoo line, it’d be great to jump over to a modern device if Garmin fixed this… 🤞🤞

  35. Stantonjulie

    Thanks for the review- my 820 died 4 weeks ago and been waiting patiently for this. Have ordered the solar model. I like the concept and keen to use even if it’s only a marginal gain.

  36. Matthew

    Thanks for the review. I only got a 530 last winter so won’t be upgrading for a while. So it’s a bit of a shame that I won’t be getting the newer features. The video also reminded me that I had never fitted the lanyard. But when I got the box out I realised that I still hadn’t fitted the out-front mount to my summer bike, as I had forgotten it was included. I was about to buy one 😂

  37. Brian

    Hi Ray,

    One thing that is important for the decision to get the solar version is the impact of the solar system on the recharge life of the battery. How does the solar charging impact the life of the battery in terms of number of cycles? Getting the boost in battery level is great, but if the overall life of the battery is negatively impacted and will result in having to buy a new device much sooner, then it is something to consider.

    • Neil Jones

      I don’t think it’s a question of cycles, as for every cycle you’ll still get the same energy out and therefore the same overall battery life. I’d say the bigger potential issue here could be having the battery sat at 100% for weeks or even months at a time over the summer – lithium batteries don’t like that.

    • Andrew M

      True, but there is an easy solution – store it face down/indoors.

  38. Otto Destruct

    I woke up early today (Eastern Daylight Time, Canada) and ordered this as soon as it popped on Garmin’s website.

    In truth: I’d have preferred the 840 for size – the 1040 seems like a behemoth – but I don’t own a bike computer, and wasn’t buying one with Micro-USB so here we are.

    Thanks as always for the review, Ray. Watching the video and whacking that like button as I type this.

  39. Neil Jones

    Does the solar feature actually charge the battery, or does it simply power the unit directly, thus preventing any battery drain?

    • The article demonstrates that it charges the battery.

      In one case, he ended up with more power while using it.

      It also charges while not being used. In another example, he got 46 minutes of extra runtime with 2h in the sun.

    • Neil Jones

      Ok, I missed the windowsill bit on first read. So it looks like it does actually charge it. I’m still trying to work out if the same is true for Garmin’s solar watches. The ‘estimate’ on my Descent will hold steady if left in bright sun for several days, but it never increases. I guess that could just be down to misreporting by the OS though.

    • It actually charges it.

      If you have a sunny enough window, you could pretty easily just leave it there most of your day, and probably never have to plug the unit in.

      Thanks for being a DCR Supporter Neil!

  40. Ian

    Thanks for another great review Ray. As probably the only active user of the Varia Vision, have Garmin said why support has been taken out and whether it will be replaced?

    I find it incredibly useful for keeping my HR and cadence (my main training metrics) permanently in view, while using the map or ClimbPro pages. I know that I can customise the data fields on the map at least (maybe also ClimbPro) but typically have other useful fields showing on there. I can broadcast from my watch (I think the VV is still supported by the Epix), but that feels like a clunky and unnecessary workaround.

    • Chalk me up as another active Varia Vision user. Disappointing that they have dropped support for it.

    • Jesper CPH Denmark.

      I still use (and love) my Varia Vision. Could be funny with a poll to see how many else does…. But not many, otherwise they’d probably continue to make it…

    • Tim Sinclair

      I’m unsure about their reasons and I’d love to know how many were sold. I only had a new battery in mine a few months ago 🙁 . It didn’t have full functionality with the 1030 Plus. Any graphical displays that came in after the 1000 (Climb Pro etc) made the metric displays go to –.– .
      I See that 3D MAP Orientation that was also faulty on the 1030 Plus has bee removed from the 1040 and I’ve been advised by Garmin that those items are unlikely to be fixed for the 1030 Plus.
      It starts to appear as though if something is a challenge to support that they just drop it 🙁
      I’ve had the feeling for a long time that Garmin MAY have lost some of it’s core experience from the design team who would have been involved in the design of some of these now lost features (JUST A GUESS). For these and other issues to have remained un resolved for so long is my reasoning.

    • Alain Quesnel

      I use my Varia Vision on every ride. We need to petition Garmin to put it back on the 1040

    • The main driver was simply that with the UI shift and development effort, and combined with the low number of people that bought (or even still have) the device, they had to make the tough decision to focus on the ANT+ Extended Display protocal instead.

    • Alain

      Would it be fixable with a software update? Or is there another 1040 compatible heads up display out there, in development or existing?

  41. GIV

    Reading this for me is a big disappoint.
    No breaking through additions.
    Just solar panel and more battery.
    The rest is just minor detail.
    At this moment, Karoo 2 is a more reliable option. Good navigation, SIM card with live tracking, every 2 weeks SW updates. The only drawback is battery life.
    I expected much more from 1040 regarding 1030+.
    It is kinda the same with lots of new menu options. No real step further.
    I expected a year for this, but now i don’t think I will buy. It simply does not worth IMHO.

    • Hammerhead is doing great stuff lately, for sure.

      At the same time, I also had my first-ever Karoo 2 crash this weekend. Not just crash, but complete loss of entire ride data and even the route I was following (on a foreign country). It’s probably been a decade since I’ve had loss of entire ride data on a Garmin, and never a loss of route before.

      I get it, it’s clearly a random bug, but it’s one Karoo has been facing for a few months now apparently, and while they are trying to find a fix, it’s a pretty solid issue for the many that have run into it.

      Details on issue/thread: link to support.hammerhead.io

    • Kevin R

      I’m torn about my Karoo 2. The recent removal of Di2 means I’m stuck on the May 19, 2022 update unless I want to lose those features. I really like flipping screens from the hoods. And looking at my shifting afterwards is good navel gazing.

      I’m also disappointed in the third-party support for Hammerhead devices. There is an SDK though I’ve seen no actual developers use that. Sideloading Android apps is easy enough though the hardware limits what can run. The Garmin Connect IQ store seems more real.

    • Josh

      Same. I actually just ordered a 1040 Solar from Amazon. I love the Karoo 2 but the loss of Di2 support was a game-changer for me.

      I’ve also had numerous issues with the Karoo 2, from a faulty speaker, to lost ride data, to constantly disconnecting sensors. And, yes, the battery life just sucks on the Karoo 2. It’s really silly how bad it is, especially having come from a Garmin 810.

  42. Alain

    Varia Vision removal is disappointing. They could’ve let it connect and not officially support it.

  43. fisao

    Thank you for your review Ray.

  44. Alex

    Two typos I saw:

    (1) It’ll display a little mini-amp that includes turn information as you approach each turn [should me mini-map]
    (2) Now it’s worthwhile nothing that post-ride you’ll get an estimated recovery time until your next hard ride. [Should be noting]

    You can remove my comment after they’re fixed if you want 🙂

    Love the review! I think it might be time to upgrade my 520-plus

  45. Eli Kosko

    Ray is there a way to use my Garmin watch (Fenix 7) as the heart rate monitor for activities on the edge device?

    • As I understand it, all Garmin watches with onboard photoplethysmographic (PPG) heart rate sensors can be set to broadcast heart rate via ANT+. Certainly my Forerunner 45 does this, and has the option to broadcast all the time, or just during an activity.

      However, I compared it to a chest-strap EEG sensor and another manufacturer’s PPG sensor. The Forerunner 45 consistently read a little lower than the other two; the non-Garmin PPG sensor and the EEG sensor were almost identical.

    • Andrei J

      Yes, you can broadcast your heart rate and the edge will pick it up

    • Laurens van Jaarsveld

      Yes. Open the quick menu and enable broadcast HR, then add it to edge as a sensor.

    • Eli

      Thanks all!

    • Brian

      Probably. You can broadcast heart rate from the Fenix and I’d assume the Edge could then be paired with the “external heart rate monitor”. I don’t have an Edge, but I’ve used my Fenix to broadcast to my PC running Zwift.

    • Martin

      Yes. I do it all the time with the fenix6 and edge 1030

  46. Ornoth

    Excited, looking forward to how much of this would make the transition into a theorized 840 unit.

    Any chance they’ve updated the SMS response menu beyond their 8-10 preset responses, or added any ability to user customize them? It’s always frustrated me and seems like it would be an incredibly easy enhancement.

    Thanks for the great reviews, as always!

    • Peter Z.

      Unfortunately looks like No. The help page on this has added 1040 to devices not supporting custom messages. I was thinking the customization I’d done would apply to both; forgot it was under the watch device section. I guess I don’t get many texts during biking activities so never noticed

      link to support.garmin.com

  47. Tim Sinclair

    I’m really sad about the loss of support for the Varia Vision 🙁 That’s a big deal for me as I’ve loved having training metrics and Varia Radar warnings in my eyeline without having to look down at the Garmin (Edge 1030 Plus).
    Did you have chance to see if the Varia Vision can even be recognised by the 1040 and provide even basic data, or is it a total none starter in that respect?

  48. Eric Johnson

    Too large and heavy for me to tempt me to upgrade from my 530. I’d love to see them bring a lot of these improvements (but with lower battery duration) to a sub-80g device. Better yet would be to aim for sub-60g and use solar to help extend battery life.

  49. Ivor Peachey

    Hi ray
    You are missing the maim problem as usual.
    The purple route line is easy mistaken with the black none route line .
    And its very hard to follow the route at night .
    And the clear ARROW WITH THE CLEAR BACKGROUND IS PATHETIC AT NIGHT .
    NOBODY IS TESTING THIS ..
    most people buy a garmin to follow and record their route and don’t even think about power reading.

    • Martin

      That’s what you call the main problem really ? If you hate night mode so much leave it in day mode by turning off auto switch.

    • “As usual”

      Yeah, if you want to be rude, I’ve got 140 other comments I’ll reply to. Yours won’t be one of them.

      However, I will point out there’s a million things I could write about, and I try and cover as many as I can in 10,000-15,000 words, plus a 15 minute video. If you had asked your questions as to what changes there might be without being a dick, I might have considered responding to you. Especially since it would have taken less time than writing this reply. But nope.

  50. madmalkav

    Still haven’t read the review, just wanted to complain to Garmin people that may be reading this for giving you so much work to do together.

  51. Ronnie Bryant

    Is the Virtual Partner still intact? Would be nice if you could turn it iff.

  52. andreas301

    Thanks for the great review! I’ve one question regarding the new Power guide function: does this take actual data from a power meter (if available) into account or is it just an estimate based on the user settings (bike weight etc.) combined with course properties?

  53. Ben

    One very small nitpick: lithium ion batteries last longer at a lower voltage in storage – Tesla for example allows battery management features like setting a battery to only charge up to 80%.

    This drastically increases the number of battery cycles over the life of the device.

    If one always keeps their Garmin devices at 100% (easy with solar), one risks a high usage scenario which kills the lithium battery inside after 500 recharge cycles. Worse is heat palys a role too, keeping these in the sun, at 100% charge, is awful for the battery chemistry.

    Garmin should allow user control of the maximum battery charge for those who want to have more than 500 lithium battery recharge cycles or plan to own a device like this for 10 years or more.

    • Brian

      I just noticed on Garmin’s site that the 1040 (non-solar) is rated for 35 hours of battery life, and the solar is only 30 hours, so there is a deficit to begin with.

    • This came up back when Solar charging was introduced on the Fenix and Instinct series. In short, Garmin says this isn’t an issue with how they designed the system (as with many other solar systems that also charge lithium batteries). And indeed, we just haven’t seen it be an issue in the three years that Instinct/Fenix have had solar on them.

    • dimitris

      The only reason that we as engineers decide to use lower capacity cells is to help easier charging it seems thats the reason of cell differences between 2 variations but actually solar charging is main point and not the slightly lower cell capacity of solar watch and gps devices.

  54. Jarrett Wyatt

    And the one sensor I just love is the one they kill off. I’ll just have to stick with my 1030 and Varia Vision. Huge disappointment for me, else I’d have preordered a 1040. Been waiting for an upgrade. For intervals it’s just so convenient and safer for me to use the Varia while riding outdoors.

  55. craig.schaepe

    Is the screen on the Solar unit in anyway less usable in lowlight situations than the non solar? It does look a bit darker but in use was it an issue in any lighting situation? Was hoping that they could give the 1040 the Oled experience.

    • No real impact. First day or two I was like “Oh, it’s a bit dimmer”, but just didn’t matter in real life for me personally. I did a lot of sunset rides too over the last month, no issues.

    • BikePower

      I used the 1040 Solar this weekend and my experience with the “solar glass” on the first ride was that it was pretty much impossible to see data when the sun was behind me (i.e., when the display was in shadow). For the second ride I set the backlight to almost full brightness and that helped when the device was in shadow, but the “time gained” from solar charging went from 36 minutes to 6 minutes (both days were in similar sunlight). What I have yet to try is manually toggling the backlight as needed between “auto” and my manual brightness setting using the pull-down widget (or using sunglasses that are not as dark), but that’s less than ideal.

      I never had a problem seeing data on the 1030 Plus in different light conditions, and now I kind of wish I had gone with the non-solar version as increasing the backlight brightness defeats some of the benefit of solar charging.

  56. Dries Oomen

    Hi Ray,

    Any idea whether the ‘ride time gained’ or battery gained feature from the 1040 also comes to the Fenix 7 solar models? Would be pretty useful because now I am just staring at the solar graphs hoping to get an extra percent and not knowingif it’s actually working.

    • bsb

      2nd this question. At least in connect. Right now its pretty sad looking at it in connect with ZERO data just some lines representing solar intensity. Would be a tremendous addition. The instinct 2 doesn’t even show LUX gained on the watch itself.

      Would love to know the answer to this! Thanks Ray

    • Yeah, I’d love to see it too! I’ll ask around.

  57. Laurens van Jaarsveld

    Any sensors dropouts? Forums are full of broken sensor connectivity on edge units. My edge 830 is suffering from dropouts and phone disconnects, especially the sensor disconnect/connects are really annoying … it’s a performance cycling computer core functionality. I’m in it is not moving anywhere.

    • Laurens

      Weird, the last edit was not posted ;-). What I wanted to add is that I’m in contact with Garmin support and other then sending loads of diagnostics the ticket is not going anywhere.

    • None, however, I will say in general if you’re seeing dropouts on an Edge 830, I’d look at potential interference issue with the phone. Not the connecitivty itself, but the chipset is known to have issues in high-load scenarios and dropping (especially if you have CIQ apps adding load).

  58. Martin

    Up ahead is not new. I use it all the time on the 1030. It computes the time to each waypoint using the pace set in the connect course creator. Indeed that does not take into account the terrain.

  59. Harry Hirse

    Strava segments AND navigation at once possible? Thanks

    • Always has been if you use a Strava Course/Route.

      But still not possible if using a non-Strava originated route.

    • j thomas

      My 1030 won’t show Strava Live Segments if I’m following a course, as I do on most rides. (Live segments work great if I’m just riding along and reach one of them, but that’s not practical for me.)

      I’m guessing that this is still not possible: Showing my Strava segments while following a course.

    • j thomas

      I use ridewithgps courses.

    • Oohhh, this is why my Edge doesn’t show Strava segments? I really thought the functionality is broken (and I don’t much care about it). Thank you!

    • For Strava Live Segments with other non-Strava Routes, whether or not that happens is a “TBD”.

  60. Zach

    Varia Vision removal is just asinine.
    Sure the device itself is no longer supported, but to remove it from the 1040 completely?! Varia Vision makes my rides safer by not having to look down. I’d put it a close 2nd to the radar or a mirror in terms of safety. Mine still holds 100% charge and it will become a paper weight if I upgrade to the 1040.

    From the Garmin Forums – anyone who feels the same, please submit an idea to Garmin to add Varia Vision capability to the Edge 1040.
    link to garmin.com

  61. Triskelion

    Stoked. Bought the 1040 Solar from Garmin France, to arrive next week.

  62. Hahaha

    Yeah, but can you do your taxes on it?

  63. inSyt

    Ah Garmin, the solar devices will be so much better if the entire bezel was used for the 100% panel. Having a thick black bezel, and then the 100% solar panel, and then the screen, makes the devices look outdated, and kinda wastes the thick bezel.

  64. Key

    Hi, when doing a preloaded training, does the workout auto pause if you stop or does the timer keep going?

  65. HD

    Hey Ray. Do you know if they’ve upped the CIQ limit from 16?

  66. Kent Blankenship

    I’m curious about the display brightness / quality differences between the 1040 base and the 1040 solar. The picture shows that the 1040 solar is darker, but is it “bad”? When I look at the 1030 vs. the 1030 Plus, the 1030 Plus is far better – almost to the point that I don’t like using the 1030 just because the display is so bad in comparison. Is the display on the 1040 solar nice? Will people regret going with the solar over the base when it comes to the display?

    • It’s not bad, no, it’s just a bit dimmer. You get used to it after a day or two. Keep in mind if in dark scenarios the backlight will easily illuminate it, so that’s not an issue.

      I did a bunch of evening/sunset rides without issues.

  67. Jeff

    The 1040 seems to be kind a 1030v2.

    Just wondering, when the 1050 will hit the market?

  68. Dominik

    Is campagnolo EPS still supported?

  69. Eni

    I was definitely expecting you to go all “for the love of all things holy” for Garmin to finally (at last, about time!) introducing USB-C on the Edge (you know, like you did with the Fenix 7 that finally introduced activity rofiles configuration on the phone). After reading for years how you (rightly so) criticized Garmin for this, I was a little bit disappointed now 😂

  70. Chup

    Asia maps available in non-solar 1040?

  71. Peter Fine

    Great review, Ray! Does the Edge 1040 have the ability to login to corporate WiFi networks? The Edge 1030 chokes on the corporate WiFi authentication.

  72. KGR

    Thank you Ray! Much appreciated getting your insights. A couple questions and a comment:

    1) I want to be able to pick a target point on a high-quality map while I’m in the field using my smartphone and send it to my Garmin with minimal effort. AFAIK, in the past the best we could do is use something like sendpoints or maybe what3words. Has Garmin come up with a better solution for this yet?

    2) The 830 and 1030 plus has always been finicky about touchscreen sensitivity, making keyboard responsiveness a frustrating affair where keypresses get dropped regularly (i.e. not even remotely close to a smartphone). I don’t know if it’s the screen itself or the CPU getting hung up. If the 1040 shares the same touchscreen, is the keyboard experience more or less the same as before?

    General comment: Really disappointed that the same cap of 10 data fields applies. This applies to all Garmins but particularly with this large screen, I very much wanted to see more data fields and more control about how those fields are physically arranged and sized at the higher field counts. Remaining capped at 10 fields in a 2×5 square grid makes less and less sense in a world where you have a proliferation of new sensors, metrics, e-bikes, and so on.

    • KGR

      Correcting my earlier comment: Looks like what3words in ConnectIQ can’t be used for adding waypoints, so this would be something like GRouteLoader or Sendpoints, but these are very clunky to use and (if my memory serves correctly) at least Sendpoints requires a live cellphone data connection (not so great for MTB). I’m hoping to see Garmin come up with a better solution than what we’re living with currently.

    • Tim Sinclair

      I just noticed that the What 3 Words IQ isn’t available for the 1040 —- yet
      slightly off your topic but worth a mention maybe 🙂

  73. Koen Dierckens

    The built-in solar panel does cause the screen to be a little dimmer compared to the regular model. does this affect readability at all?

  74. “Removed device transfer” that’s not good, used it not even 2 days ago when on a cycling holiday in Germany.

  75. Heiko

    Did Garmin actually use a faster processor or is the improved speed (recalculation of courses was mentioned, is anything else faster?) only because of software changes?

    PS: Same question about FR 955 and 255? Any general speed improvements perceptible?

    • It’s the same processor, but they’ve enabled some features within the software in conjunction with the re-write to gain the speed.

    • Matthew

      That’s disappointing that Garmin didn’t upgrade the processor, and is using ~3+ year old processor. This feels like the same with Garmin not upgrading the screen.

      If the processor & screen are the same, then it really feels like Garmin should have been able to easily provide this software for the 1030+. If not, besides the different GPS chip, what’s the issue (besides wanting people to buy a new device)?

    • Johnny

      That truly is disappointing.
      One of the reasons for me to always want to have the “latest and greatest” is increased processing power. This is most welcome and needed.
      As much as I love my 1030+ it’s lack of processor speed (route calculation !) can be irritating.

      @Ray;
      I’m sure your feedback to Garmin might help them setting priorities?

    • Just to be really clear, while the processor hasn’t changed the processing speed has (through other processor-side software options that Garmin had enabled).

      That combined with faster algorithms and a fundamental change in the way they do route calculation/recalculation (outlined in review, but TLDR is they just don’t show you it and do it in the background), is what leads to much of those speed increases.

    • Andrea

      @Ray
      Thanks for your review,
      what it’s difficult to address to me is how they managed to get 10 more hours of battery life while also reducing the size of the battery it self from 1800mA to 1700mA, with the same CPU.
      It’s very near to a miracle, and all of that with only software optimization!
      – It’s the new GPS the secret juice?
      – They have enabled dinamic frequencies for the CPU?
      – Was the old code so terrible?
      – In the future will be possible that the Gyroscope will be used tto enhance the incline percentage speed and accuracy?
      Please can you answer ? I bought one and I’m waiting for the shipment, but I’m really so excited about.

  76. Frankwin

    Hi Ray,

    I see on the pictures you have found the iconic Simson tire repair box.
    The famous black-red-white metal case. Since 1881.

    Beautiful!

    Frankwin

  77. Sean

    I really like Garmin products (I’ve owned quite a few of them over the years), but I’m always a bit curious as to how they release products, and how they decide what capabilities these products have. Related to the comment in the post about the 1040 missing features that the FR955 has, I can’t help but feel the release of these products leaks the structure of the organization and the dysfunction that exists within it. I can only guess as to what is going on, but it seems like they are either not executing against the same roadmap, or aren’t resourced appropriately to be able to deliver on that roadmap together, at the same time. Instead of releasing these products together, emphasizing how they could work independently, or better together, they were released as distinctly separate point products, a mistake in my opinion.

    The lack of any new features making it to the 1030 Plus seems like a mistake as well. As much as Garmin feels they are a hardware company, they are also a software company, and people have expectations that devices will continue to get new features and updates. The 1030 Plus is a flagship device that is only two years old, and if I had purchased one yesterday, I would be justifiably disappointed. I don’t feel that the lineage of this device being connected to the 1030 which launched in 2017 matters to the customer, all that matters is the device is for sale today, and will not be getting any updates (note that Apple is doing this at present by selling the Apple Watch Series 3 which won’t support WatchOS 9, but it isn’t a flagship device). Again, this isn’t how Garmin has historically operated, but as a result of phone manufacturers such as Apple providing updates over the years, expectations have shifted. I can’t imagine this is even beneficial for Garmin internally. It seems like there would be a lot of overhead and potential bugs resulting from having separate software versions, instead of having something unified that enables or disables things based on the capabilities of the device

    Also related to software, and mentioned above, Connect IQ. How do you launch a product, emphasizing that it supports Connect IQ, but there is basically nothing available. Imagine a new iPhone or Android device launched, but none of the existing apps worked. For both developers and customers, this is a terrible experience, and certainly needs to be fixed. Again looking to the phone market, if I buy a new iPhone, I migrate everything from my old one, and things just work – I have all my favourite apps, widgets, etc. I buy a new FR955, I now have to wait for developers to update or indicate that my device is supported. If those Connect IQ components make my experience better, I now have a worse experience after giving Garmin my money instead of a better one.

    This is all to say, it’s not clear to me that Garmin is aware how close others are to eating their lunch. The new sleep and running metrics Apple announced this week make it clear this market matters to them, and they are committed to it. If the battery life on the Apple Watch improves significantly, Garmin is going to have a big problem. The introduction of a triathlon mode on the Apple Watch is interesting, but imagine taking it a step further. Imagine a first party bike mount for the iPhone. Imagine the iPhone supporting power meters, speed/cadence, lights, etc. Imagine the Apple Watch and the iPhone being able to handoff to each other during a triathlon. It wouldn’t take much for them to really improve the experience dramatically. I am reminded of when the iPhone was introduced, how companies like Blackberry could not respond because their product development cycles were far too long, and I see echos of that here. Apple is able to move more quickly, and is able to do so in a more cost effective way for the customer. I’m in Canada and the total price of an FR955 + 1040 (non-solar, which cannot be ordered, and I haven’t seen available to order since launch) is $1428. The price of an Apple Watch Series 7 and an iPhone SE is $1108. Not directly comparable, but I think it’s fair to say that in terms of computing performance and capability, the Apple products are superior, and will have better longevity in terms of the features they will support.

    Anyways, I’m excited to see the level of competition increase, and will be interested to see how Garmin will respond to it.

    • okrunner

      Sean,
      I think your comment very relevant. I made a post below, today, on the issue of cost. Going to several 5k races will reveal the vast majority of runners using a phone or apple watch. These amateurs are the largest segment of athletes. You already have to have a phone so no new investment there, just an app, and a refurbished apple series 4 is $129 on Woot. Ride with GPS appears to support most bluetooth sensors including power meters. Garmin will sell some of these high priced units but some of these high prices may be they’re undoing.

    • Paul S.

      I’ve been hearing “Garmin is doomed!” since the Apple Watch came out (I started with series 0 and have been wearing one, currently a 7, continuously ever since) for not quite as long as I was hearing “Apple is doomed!” back in the 90’s. There’s no phone or watch app that I know of that can do all of the things I need or want simultaneously like a Garmin (or other for that matter) cycling head unit. Find a phone app or watch app (and watches suck for cycling, so don’t try too hard there) that can simultaneously navigate, record, connect to lights and radar, etc., etc., like a Garmin head unit can. Doesn’t exist so far as I know.

      As for cost, this is a cycling head unit. I’m a non-competitive cyclist and there are 4 bikes in the garage that are mine and that I use regularly, and the least expensive was $1800. If you’re competitive, you have at least one real DFPM (I don’t), several bikes, a smart trainer or bike, and maybe race wheels, etc., not to mention entrance and travel costs. $750 doesn’t seem like a big deal for something I’m going to use near daily, like I do my Edge 830, and I’d get the non-solar version anyway (actually, I’m fine with the 830 for now). My iPhone costs more, and it can’t connect to ANT+ sensors.

    • Sean

      Well I never said that Garmin is doomed 🙂 I think they make great products, I’ve owned many of them, and will continue to own them. My points were primarily focused on areas where I saw opportunity.

      – Unify software so that you can release things at the same time and capitalize on the momentum that comes with that. Not that every release deserves an event or much fanfare, but if you’re only releasing products every couple of years, you might want to be able to release in such a way that you can drum up some excitement.

      – Backport features to older devices when possible from a hardware perspective. Unified software would make this much easier. There are clearly business decisions that factor into this as is the case for all companies, but Garmin seems more than others to not do this (and this may just be my perception).

      – Connect IQ, there is some great stuff there, allow people to easily get at it and reduce the burden on developers to enable it. I was looking at a watch face today that has 102 listed compatible devices. There has got to be a better way to normalize devices and advertise their capabilities so things “just work”.

      Separate from these points, I do find it interesting the overall number of devices that they sell, and wonder what the effort is to build and maintain all of them. Looking at the Garmin Instinct 2 as an example, there are 5 distinct versions (Standard, Camo, Tactical, Surf, DĒZL™), some with Solar, some without, different sizes, 20 different watches in total. The distinction between these variants appears reasonably arbitrary, and there is presumably some non-zero cost and complexity for keeping it that way.

      Aside from all this, Garmin has some distinct advantages. One of my favourites is actually Garmin Connect. I like being able to have my activities uploaded somewhere centrally and be able to view them on a computer screen, without necessarily having to integrate with another third party service. It’s not perfect, but I find it works well for my needs, and there are no subscription costs for it which is fantastic.

      This is all to say again, I don’t think Garmin is doomed. From the outside, they just seem to move a bit more slowly then I would expect, and I would love to see them improve.

    • usr

      The 1030+ will likely see quite a few feature updates still, but only those that are backported to support some new accessories or Connect features. Back when Garmin was still doing one edge per year, some features would jump back and forth between different size classes. But the shared release of 830/530 suggests that Garmin aims for more parallel releases now (Ray might know more than he can tell).

      I read the “don’t expect features making it to 830” as a rather imminent 840 release (later this year?), but it could also mean that the new UI code doesn’t cater for button ui anymore and then the co-development of 530 alongside 830 and 1030/+ serves as an actual hurdle. This would imply that a 540, if they do one, wouldn’t be an 840 with buttons but a smaller 840 (1040 shrunk to 130 size?)

    • Joseph Perrie III

      Yeah, what would have been really good in this review is a section at the top saying, “WAIT ONE TO SIX MONTHS BEFORE BUYING THE EDGE 1040 IF YOU HAVE A CONNECT IQ SENSOR!”. I just got my 1040 today, and it doesn’t support TyreWiz sensors, and there’s no app available to download. WHY DOESN’T GARMIN SUPPORT TYREWIZ NATIVELY!? I honestly wish they would admit Connect IQ is an absolute failure and just get rid of it. Just add native support for the three Ant+ sensors that work and call it a day.

    • The problem is – at what point is the accessory vendor responsible here? The SRAM TyreWiz app hasn’t been updated in 9 months, which means it’s likely running an older Connect IQ version. If you look at the comments, it stopped working for other people over the last few months on other updates.

      That’s no different than any other app platform (Apple/Google/etc…) and updates that break features. Apps had tons of time, and SRAM is hardly a small company. In fact, for that matter, I’m not even sure it’s considered an official app anymore. It doesn’t display SRAM as the name, just an independent developer.

      I mean, I’m all for blaming Garmin on a slew of CIQ things (see this very review), but this one isn’t on Garmin, this is clearly on SRAM.

    • What wasn’t clear in your review is that EVERY SINGLE Connect IQ app and data field no longer works on the Edge 1040. The SRAM “alanf” TyreWiz app worked reliably on the Edge 1030 Plus, but you had to power cycle the Edge 1030 Plus to get the sensors to connect it went into sleep mode. The same was true for 1030, and the early versions of the app were very, very unreliable. Is that on SRAM or Connect IQ? The other issue is that when you transfer data pages to a new device, the Connect IQ app is deleted and the data field gets switched to a Timer. Still not fixed either in the 1040 presumably.

      Wahoo and Hammerhead both support TyreWiz natively. There’s no reason that Garmin couldn’t add support for it. Garmin implemented specific Di2 and SRAM eTAP support. What you could also talk about in your review is that Connect IQ has been an abject failure. None of the data fields have been reliable. Even the pure calculation ones like Strava’s “Suffer Score” and “Relative Effort” reset the data if the Edge is powered down during a ride. On a side note, you also didn’t mention that if you power down the Edge mid-ride, Garmin actually loses their own fitness and hydration estimates and only uses the last power-up cycle to fill-in the defaults. I assume that’s still the case as I haven’t even used my unit on a ride since it won’t connect to TyreWiz.

      There are also weird problems with the 1040 going into sleep mode, and powering on while charging. The Edge 1030 Plus had all of those issues fixed, but now we’re back to random power-ons and power-offs. The 1030 was really, really, bad with this. The Edge 1030 Plus is still the best bike computer of all-time in 2022. No battery issues. Bugs are 93% fixed (except for Bluetooth, which I don’t use).

    • Yeah, I’m not sure how one can blame Garmin at this point for something that SRAM has seemingly abandoned. A base platform development level is a fundamental thing for every platform – Garmin, Apple, and others.

      Could Garmin support it natively? Sure, they could. But generally that’s going to be at SRAM’s request. The reason it’s on Wahoo is that was at SRAM’s request years ago. Whereas for Garmin they simply built a CIQ field. History matters here before one starts randomly throwing rocks in all directions. And given SRAM shows no apparent internet in this product anymore, why would Garmin go out of their way to support it natively?

      As for discussing CIQ failures, I disagree. But I also discussed my disappointment in this review specifically about that, but it appears you skipped over that entire section.

      However, in the near decade that CIQ had been around, your the first that has thrown out the Edge case of powering down an Edge unit mid-ride and having it reset the CIQ data field data for certain data fields. I honestly can’t think of the last time I’ve ever shut down a unit entirely and then powered it back on some time later to resume a ride, and then specifically cared about Strava relative effort (a metric that by definition would specifically be impacted by taking a long break, and basically void – and if the reason your doing all this restarting is because SRAM hasn’t updated their field, it would seem that’d be the place to focus ones efforts).

      As I outlined in the review, I had some solid problems with the unit. But it appears some are skipping over that when clicking the purchase button, only to come back and get upset about not reading what I wrote.

    • thetomfox

      The basic assumption that a new major rev of a proven product will be better than the previous isn’t an unreasonable one.

      So far, based on many first reports, that expectation is significantly unfulfilled.

      Edge cases are edge cases, but many of the reported issues so far are not edge cases, they are core functionality. Worse, more than a few appear to be steps backward from existing baseline.

      In my limited use so far im seeing all sorts of issues including random lockups, notifications that can’t be dismissed, missing features, broken sync, and on and on.

      Will there be a flurry of fixes soon? Almost certainly, but this speaks to bigger challenges within garmin. I have a few days before I need to return my 1040 and will continue to test it while I can but as it stands now this is a half baked product built on outdated hardware and being sold at significant cost when it should be in beta and QA.

      All avoidable.

    • Why is honestly talking about glaring shortcomings on a device “throwing rocks in all directions”? You called the new Varia radar a dumpster fire which I have no doubt that it is, but almost all Garmin products have had dumpster-fire like qualities (no QWERTY keyboard on the Edge units, for example). I really only use my Garmin Edge for recording sensor data, and I honestly don’t care about much else, but now the flagship can’t even do that.

    • I’m wondering if the Edge 1030 Plus is going to be Garmin’s Windows XP. It looks that way right now, but to Garmin’s credit, they will spend three years fixing every bug (i.e. outsource their product testing to their customers while making them pay $800 for the privilege).

    • BikePower

      TyreWiz has worked reliably on the 1030 Plus for me for a year or so. The IQ app however is currently not available for the 1040 (as I found out when I upgraded to the 1040). Sometimes all that needs to happen is for the developer to add the new Edge model to the app metadata and upload, which I’m hoping is the case here. I contacted SRAM support and explained the issue, so hopefully SRAM will have a version that supports the 1040 soon.

    • Nuno Pinto

      Yes, you remind me of the lack of QWERTY keyboard. While the hell is GARMIN EDGE still using ABCD…. style keyboard ???

  78. Tom

    Has anything changed/improved with Strava live segments? A long-running complaint I’ve had is how upon completion of a segment (blinded by salt in my eyes and about to blackout) the segment times show up momentarily and then vanish before I can look. I’ve never figured out how to quickly easily view those until I’m actually done with my ride. Would be great if they treated it as a notification that needs to be dismissed.

    Can the settings of the Edge be configured from the phone yet (a la Wahoo)? The disastrous mess of menus and options on the Garmin devices makes me crazy.

    The failure to update the screen is a massive miss. Given the longevity and cost of these devices, it is hard to sign on for another 5+ yrs when the primary part of the hardware that is interacted with is already dated.

    Speaking of hardware, I find it interesting that you say the screen works just fine no matter what wet or dry. I frequently deal with drops of sweat being registered as touches on 1030/830 devices and creating problems mid-ride. Forces me to lock the screen which of course brings another set of inconveniences.

  79. Ray, do you know what the actual battery capacity is? It may have a long battery life, but it’ll eventually run down over multi-day races – even with solar. One of my main concerns is how long it’ll take to reach a full charge off my dynamo hub, which drives a relatively low current.

    Put another way, if it’s consuming a ton of power and is just compensating for that with a humungous battery, then that’s problematic for dynamo users!

    • usr

      Internal pictures for the fcc certification suggest that the battery is slightly smaller even, it seems to be labeled 1800 (partially blocked), whereas previously the battery read 1900 mAh.

    • Confirmed at 1,800mAh – slightly smaller than the 1030 due to battery life optimizations.

    • Thanks – that seems comparable to most other bike computers with much lower battery life. So it really is super efficient! Colour me impressed!

      I just ordered a Bolt V2 and now I’m tempted to return it on Wahoo’s 30 day return period…

  80. Benedikt

    Is it finally possible to send new routes while an anctivity is recorded?
    Biggest minus in the current Garmin LineUp.
    Can we run CommectIQ Apps while an activity is recorded (paused), for example Komoot to load a new route?

    • Yes, you can now. I did this by accident/etc last Thursday when a route wasn’t getting to my computer, and started anyways, and eventually, the thing synced and I loaded it up midway through.

  81. Jonathan Zappala

    I enjoyed the pie stop information 🙂
    It feels to me like it’s biggest competitor is “cell phone”. I’d like the extra navigation, but I infrequently ride in a strange place where I want it. For the extra cash I think an edge 5xx/8xx plus a phone works best for me. I like the best bike split style power climbing plan. I mean you can get that file from best bike split but that’s great that it’s built in. Definitely cool though.

  82. SimplyFred

    I just paired my 1030 Plus with my new Apple iPhone SE. Went okay from the phone side, not so much on the Garmin. Now I’m getting erratic behavior. Does the 1040 pair better with a phone? I want my data on my phone so I can share it with research studies evaluating the correlation between fitness and health.

  83. Jason

    Is this $150 better than a 1030 plus?

    • That’s really for you to decide. I won’t be upgrading from my current 1030 Plus, but if I was choosing between a new 1030 Plus and a 1040, I would go with the 1040.

  84. Eric B

    Interesting about power guide which takes some what of a shot to best bike split and what they do. I can see this being pretty useful for triathletes but other areas depending on the actual use. Keep up with the good reviews.

  85. Fabio

    Is it possible with this new device to set a default bike for MTB activities and a default bike for Road activities? With my edge 530 you can set a default bike for all bike activities so I have to change every time…

  86. Thea

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for the great review!

    I’m looking to upgrade from my 520+ for the bigger screen and way more usable nav, and the route power pacing looks super handy for me too.

    One thing I didn’t see in your (or other reviews), and is a niche case, is changing trainer resistance. A friend has gotten me into doing peloton app workouts on my indoor bike+kickr, and being able to adjust resistance of the trainer is a nice feature on the 520+….but is only adjustable in 10% jumps. I’m assuming the 1040 is still able to adjust resistance, but do you know whether it can be adjusted more finely (eg 5% increments)?

    I’m buying the thing anyway, probably the non-solar bundle, but didn’t see any reviews deep dive that or similar trainer functions.

    Thanks!

    • Nuno Pinto

      On the 1030 and 1040 there is a way to input the exact watts of resistance.
      You need to use one of the power/watts field. Can’t remember exactly how.
      Also look on the widget when you have the trainer paired with the EDGE

  87. Steven Hall

    I woke up thinking about this just minutes after you posted your review. As always, it’s everything I wanted to know, right when I wanted to know it Mine is ordered and will arrive Friday. Thanks Ray!

  88. Tim Sinclair

    I couldn’t agree more Zach! I only sent mine back a few months ago to get the battery replaced – £70! I’d hoped to be using it for years to come even though it has been discontinued. There are problems with it’s use on the 1030 Plus, with certain new features causing the display to go blank etc but apart from that the core features still work perfectly! I use it with my radar too and although that can be done without the Garmin Edge even being turned on (the Vision and the radar communicate directly with each other) having the vision just for the radar seems a bit of a waste 🙁
    I called Garmin UK today to ask for confirmation about compatibility and was told in a matter of seconds that it isn’t. What I would love to see is someone test to see if the Vision is recognised by the 1040 in any way at all – even the most basic functionality would be better than none at all. I also asked Garmin if it might be supported in the future but they didn’t know 🙁 .
    If enough people stamp their feet then maybe it will cause an earthquake and they’ll have to do something!

  89. Stephen

    Any integration with wind direction and speed widgets/apps/reports, etc? Even just being able to put in an average (forecast) “11mph SSW at 10am, 12mph SSW at 11am”, etc. I’m thinking it would contribute to stamina and other estimates and post ride evaluations.

    • Not at this point, however, they noted that this (namely Power Guide) is really very much a V1 starting point. They hammered home that point multiple times, when I asked around things like wind/heat/humidity/etc (which aren’t accounted for today…yet).

    • Stephen

      Thanks!

  90. Chris

    New fonts are mentioned in the review…. I’m visually impaired and have been tied to the Wahoo because as you reduce the number of visible data fields on the Roam, it scales the font up to fill the available real estate. By contrast, pervious Edges had a relatively small maximum font size, resulting in small text floating in a sea of whitespace. Do you know if this has changed with the 1040?

  91. René Mørch Sørensen

    Is it possible to get live images from Varia RCT716 on 1040?

  92. Tim Sinclair

    Hi DC!
    Thanks for being first past the post with this fantastic review! 🙂
    I wonder if you could tell me if you were able to test any of the following:
    3D mapping
    The 1030 Plus keeps loosing the road from the screen and the screen sometimes shows a diagonal black line across it. I reported this 8 months ago and many others experience the same.

    Auto Sleep after auto pause (say stopping at a cafe)
    The device is meant to go to sleep after a pre determined period (as in the manual and confirmed by Garmin) . This as well as being a battery saving feature, allows the varia radar to go to sleep too. As it stands you have to put the device to sleep manually (pause ride/ press power/ sleep) – I have a sticker on my screen to remind me to do it 🙂

    Temperature ‘accuracy’
    The 1030 Plus (for me) reads 6F high when compared to a certified digital thermometer in a calibration lab at work. Many other users have reported similar by varying amounts. My old Garmin Edge was nearly spot on! The Tempe device has been recommended by some but even if it did work, it shouldn’t be needed.

    There’ more but you only have so much time to answer us! 😉 THANKS DC!!!
    Oh – and don’t start me on the loss of the Varia Vision 🙁

    • Tim Sinclair

      I’ve downloaded the 1040 manual and 3D Map Orientation has been removed as an option 🙁 I use tha ta lot when leading rides 🙁
      Auto Sleep is still in the manual and time will tell if it works or not 🙂

  93. John Hughes

    Did you test the Edge 1040 in the rain? Does the barometric sensor still fail if just a tiny bit of water hits those 4 weep holes in the case, like the 1030 and 1030 plus? The Edge 1000 was done right with the sensor holes buried in the mount flange instead of high on the case. My Edge 1030 plus failed to produce useful elevation and gradient data on a ride this weeked in NoCal, where we had the only rain in months, just drizzle at that. It looks like the Edge 1040 would have the same problem given position of the weep holes that I see in one of the pictures in your review.

  94. Louis Matherne

    Ray,

    Thanks for another great review.

    To me, it seems like the biggest advantage for the solar model is actually the larger memory. What is the likelihood of actually needing this additional memory capacity?

    Louis

  95. okrunner

    Wow! $600 for a solar 955 and $750 for a solar 1040. Ray, for years you commented on how insane these higher priced items were getting. Now, in the age of $1,300 phones, you don’t bother. Regardless of solar, four years tops and the battery is gone. With tax that’s $200 per year minimum for your bike computer or the equivalent of $16.67 per month. If you have a Fenix 7 and new 1040, you’re shelling out more per month than your gym membership to own them. Wonder if Garmin would rent one for $12 a month? Can’t wait for the MARQ II at $3,500.

  96. Tricky

    The scrolling looked pretty slick/quick on the video how does the scrolling zooming on the map screen look compared with the Hammerhead Karoo 2?

    I’ve recently moved from the Garmin 1030 (none +) to HH K2 due to various issues on the Garmin (sensor drops/crashes) and found the HHK2 to be great on maps but I do like the whole Garmin eco-system so considering the 1040 but the maps would need to be a step up from the old 1030

  97. Does incident detection support sending the text using an inReach say when there is no cell coverage?

  98. Vdude

    The newer training load /recovery terminology lacking: can you specify more on that? Of course it won’t be Training Readiness which is now in FR 955 because that needs overnight HRV measurement, so that won’t come anyway (unless one is going to have both devices, not really cost-effective though and anyway they should integrate that function getting data from FR955, will Garmin do this?) Which other metrics regarding Training Load and Recovery will be integrated in QR3?

  99. Rien

    Thanks for this review! Maybe it’s time to replace my aging Edge 1000. Question: now that Tacx is part of the Garmin family: is there any kind of Tacx integration in the Garmin firmware?

    P.S. I love that classic Simson reparatiedoosje. Takes me back 50 years!

  100. Miguel

    Ray, based on your time in DC, do you know what is the best place to find it in the area?

  101. Nathan M.

    I really wish an Edge could be used for hiking. The screen would be fantastic for topo maps and the addition of solar, that actually charges the device, would be awesome on a weekend trip or longer. I could see myself owning one of these and an instinct. Anyone know if hiking in a round about way works? Last I heard the distance is off because of how slow the speed is compared to cycling and the accuracy is not great.

    • Paul S.

      Sure it works. I’ve used both a 705 and a 800 for hiking. Handhelds or watches (currently have a Fenix 5+, but I’ve used my Apple Watch for hiking as well) work much better, though. The problem you run into (and I’m not sure that the 1040 has this same problem, but I’d bet on it) is that these are designed for cycling. One of the things that means is that there’s a minimum speed below which it assumes you aren’t actually moving. Set that low enough (I think 1 km/hr is the lowest you can go) and it works fine so long as you keep moving. The other problem is where to keep it. Watches mount on your wrist, handhelds usually have some way to mount on a belt, but the Edge is designed for the 1/4 turn mount. So you’re either holding it the whole time or it’s out of sight in a pocket or something.

  102. Nick Radov

    Thanks for a thorough review. How does the daily suggested workout feature compare to the latest watches? Like on any given day, will an Edge 1040 always suggest the same bike workout as a Fenix 7?

    Do you think Garmin will ever support Tempe sensors? It’s annoying how Edge bike computers never show accurate temperatures because they’re out in the direct sunlight.

  103. David W

    Hi Ray,

    I record different activities on different devices- hikes on my Epix 2, rides on my Edge, and indoor on Zwift or TrainerRoad. All of these activities get uploaded to Garmin Connect. To get the correct training metrics on the Edge and Epix do I need to record all activities on both or does Garmin recalculate the metrics using all the data on GC and then send the result to the Edge and Watch?

  104. John

    Is there still a limit of 100 Strava segments? Thanks!

  105. Nick Shearer

    Is it possible to add a waypoint while riding a route yet without ending your current route?

    As far as I could see on my 1030+ if i did a search for a nearby POI I’d have to stop my current route to navigate to it, then restart my route after I’ve got to the POI. No way to see if this is going to involve backtracking or take me well off my route.

    Does “up ahead” show custom POI on your device but not in the route file?

    Am I the only person who would use this? I have several POI collections, one is all the locations you can refill water bottles (from link to refillnz.org.nz) and adding the points to individual routes would be very annoying.

    I usually resort to using my watch or phone to navigate to a POI and ignoring the off-course warnings on the edge until I get to the POI. It seems like something that should be a pretty standard feature on a navigation device. maybe i’m doing something wrong?

  106. Cory

    Hello, thank you for the review. Is it possible to transfer GPX files to the 1040 or any other Garmin unit without an active Internet connection? I’d like to find a bike GPS that allows me to create a route on MapOut on my iPhone (which can be done without any Internet connection), and then transfer via Bluetooth (or cable if really necessary) to the GPS, or without having to go through a cloud-based interface like Garmin connect. Is that possible?

    • Ruediger

      Transfer of routes/.gpx files is no problem for Garmin devices
      I do this often, plan the route with komoot on my PC and transfer the .gpx file via USB cable to the “Garmin Drive” which shows up after connecting the Garmin.
      You store the route under and in directory Garmin/NewFiles and after disconnecting the USB cable it will show up under “Stored Routes”
      This worked for my on my 1000 and currently on my 1030 (and soon on my 1040 🙂

    • Andrew M

      The Garmin Explore phone app is designed to transfer courses, etc to your device without an active internet connection.

  107. acousticbiker

    Thanks, Ray – will we see some of these new features on the epix 2?

  108. Michel

    I am interested in how both the forerunner 955 and 1040 work together. I am mainly a cyclist and Now owning an Edge 1000 and want to buy a sportwatch like the forerunner 255. Interested if I than also get the same data like stamina and progress tracking like on the edge 1040 on my watch. Or do you recommand me to buy the edge 1040 instead?! Thanks

    • John

      Interesting. Obviously Garmin would prefer you to buy both but could you make do (as much as you ever can with “must-have, cool, techy” gadgets) with the 955 and a simple display device using the extended display mode? What do you get by buying the 1040 over the 955? I’d still want solar for both and the mapping/navigation functionality. Ability to control watch (lap, etc) from the “simple” bike computer as well I guess. Will take a look once the product comparison is finalised.

  109. JeffF

    Thanks for the review. 1040 Solar on order.

    Also love Climbpro and wondering if Garmin have plans for a climbs database like they have golf courses and ski resorts?

    Would be awesome to see iconic climbs actually named like Ventoux on your ride or Alpe D’Huez.

  110. Ulf Herold

    Great insights provided by Your analysis. Thank You.
    For me, the 1030, as well as the 1040 is too big, im fine with the 830 like size, I hope there will be a 840, though being unsure in overlapping functions with my Fenix watch, what’s Your opinion of that?
    Actually I´m very surprised by the quality of my 830, it survived a 30 C° laundry, hope that it provides clean data now 🙂

  111. Colin Campbell

    I’ve been reading for a few days that June 8 would be “the day” for the Edge 1040. So June 7 about 17:30, I crashed into a car that backed out of a driveway, and the case of my 1030 Plus was damaged. I had it tethered, so it didn’t go anywhere, but the out front mount broke, leaving chunks of the mount under the lip of the Edge twist unit.

    Perfect timing? Maybe. Or maybe just ironic.

    One down side to the new computer is that the mounting system is different. All my bikes have the out front mount that allows connection of the external battery pack or a headlight, so If I upgrade to the 1040, I’ll have to buy an extra two out front mounts.

    I will probably call Garmin Support tomorrow, and find out what I can do about replacing my 1030+ and the failed out front mount.

  112. Horst

    I ordered the 1040 Solar yesterday and will now cancel it. The reason for me is the lack of an option to automatically limit the solar charging of the lithium battery to 80%.
    Since I have never had power problems with my previous 1030 Plus, I will buy the normal non-solar 1040.

    • Why is that an issue? Garmin has been doing solar tech in their devices for three years now, and it’s simply not an issue when engineered/accounted for.

    • Horst

      If a lithium battery is already 100% charged before a journey and then kept at 100% during the journey via the solar panel, this will damage the battery life in the long term. At least this is based on various and for me comprehensible references on the Internet. I will therefore stick to what is probably the ideal permanent state of charge of 35% to 80%.

      This is probably why Apple implemented “Optimized Battery Charging” in iOS 13 i. The mode analyzes user behavior and interrupts the loading process at 80 percent.

    • It won’t be kept at 100%, because in almost every scenario you’re going to burn more than you gain in real-time

      When it says you’re adding time, that’s just time added for the future. During the ride, you’re very much losing battery. I suspect perhaps in Battery Savery mode in crazy-sun conditions somewhere maybe you can reach positive flow, but I doubt it.

  113. JeffF

    Hi Ray,
    For GPS accuracy the worst I’ve seen for any device is on the Stelvio from Bormio where it jumps all over the place. I know you’ve ridden the Stelvio, did you notice that? See attached pic. Did this to me twice, I think on a 510 and 1030.

    Maybe time for another trip in the interests of science 😉

    • No, I definitely didn’t see that on the Stelvio. Seemed pretty normal. But I agree, an upgrade for science…

    • usr

      Those are the tunnels, right? Looks like a case where it’s trying to read a position from the ruins of a signal it should better dismiss as not good enough.

  114. Tom Kaufman

    Thank you, Ray, for the terrifically comprehensive review “as usual”!

    You hinted a few months ago that a bunch of new thing were coming, but I think we’re at a record DC Rainmaker word count over the past 10 days…

  115. Meir Kimhi

    Thank you

  116. Tim Sinclair

    Faulty Features Removed
    If it didn’t work in the 1030 Plus etc, then the feature may have been removed in the 1040 🙁
    We already know about the Varia Vision, but they have also removed 3D Map Orientation – its no longer listed in the manual. There is now only North Pp or Track Up 🙁
    Select an option:

    Select North Up to show north at the top of the page.

    Select Track Up to show your current direction of travel at the top of the page.

  117. Vince

    Thanks for the review!

    How’s the altitude accuracy on the 1040? I had my new Epix for a month and altitude on the Epix is way off as compared to my Edge 830.

    • Cheers!

      I included some accuracy thoughts/charts in the review. 🙂

      If your Epix altitude accuracy is off, and you’re sure it’s the Epix, double-check that your altimeter calibration settings didn’t get messed with. Or, also, let the unit sit in a bowl of warm soapy water for 10-15 mins, then clear with running water to ensure the altimeter hole doesn’t have any gunk in there.

    • Vince

      Thanks! I’ll try both the calibration and soapy water fixes on my Epix (Yes, is a new epix gen 2)

  118. Lina

    can’t wait being able to push a route while activity is runnning, would that come to 1030* too?

  119. Roemer van Toorn

    Excellent review as always! Would you advice Solar version (if price is not an issue)? I understood screen (light) is darker on Solar version, right?, and is the solar unit bigger than regular 1040 one (it seems you show photo of two different device besides each other?) Thanks for answering, warm regards from another Amsterdammer!

  120. fiatlux

    Solar charging makes a lot more sense on a bike computer than on a watch – more screen real estate to gather light, typically longer cycling activities than running and naturally oriented toward the sky.

    Still,750€ is a lot of money and while there might never have been this many features in a bike computer, I guess most users will stick to the basics and it does not appear to me as particularly good value.

    I actually use an Edge Explorer which, if you don’t need compatibility with power sensors, I find a great value.

  121. Tim Sinclair

    Possible delays in updates to IQ Apps –
    I just asked a developer for info on release of an update to his IQ App for the 1040.
    He said: I checked, and currently, the developer tools don’t yet support the Edge 1040 as a target. 🙁

  122. JeffF

    One thing I saw from another site (the5krunner), was that the 1040 adds a gyroscope. This should mean the device knows it’s orientation which should help with accurately working out the incline much more quickly than using GPS and barometer but could also potentially be another data point for navigation accuracy.

    • It’s not currently used for anything, but will be used for incident detection down the road.

    • usr

      Is that a change though? Accelerometers have already been in the 30ies, for incident detection and all the MTB stuff. Did they only have three-axis-accelerometers before and now switch to six-axis?

      Would certainly make sense, cost difference is probably so low that the change might even be worthwhile if they never actually use it, just to simplify procurement and logistics (watches sure use 6dof for all the gesture detection)

      Altimetry is certainly a little goofed in the 1030+: I have a cIQ that calculates its own 30s VAM and on some days it roughly agrees with the built-in, other days they disagree wildly (but consistently, within the activity, or day, or perhaps within the entire reboot cycle). And when they disagree a lot, it’s never the cIQ one that is off: my legs know very well when a claimed 1600 VAM effort can’t be real, when the alternative claim is 1000. So the data is there, there must be *something* weird going on with the internal time perception of the code, as if looking at some loop counter that maybe used to be consistent with wall time in earlier generations (perhaps generations with less battery saving magic?), when it should be looking at wall time.

      Doesn’t really map to the often lamented delayed grade percentage display though, I guess they should just ride faster. Distance is more important than time for grade. But a grade algorithm from raw barometry (and odometer/gps) would certainly have to do some averaging over time as well and that’s where it gets interesting. Because you know that the past barometric measurements you feed into your box filter have been taken at past points in your odometry history. Or GPS history, which would add another level of uncertainty, and then you need to clean noise from the location part as well.

      (thinking about it, might have been interesting to include odometry on/off in the big altimetry shootout published earlier this year, a shame that .nl is so flat)

  123. Felkerino

    Not moving features to the 1030+ sealed the deal for me to buy the 1040. My older 1030 has worked great but the battery life is down to less than 20 hours with GPS only and a couple sensors, and fewer still with Varia running. I use it for ultra events and brevets.

    The 1030+ at the $450 promotion price right now seemed like a great deal, but the increased run time of the 1040 and its new UI and multiband GPS (when I want it) was worth the additional cost.

    Ray, your GPS accuracy section is really helpful.

  124. Martin

    Hopefully this will cut down on forgetting my Garmin because I left it plugged in at home 🙂

    I’m still disappointed by ClimbPro and by your reporting/review of the route profile capability in general. When viewing the route, you have control of zoom level or leave it in zoom. This is what I want for viewing the elevation profile … for the whole route. The flats and downhills are just as important to pacing as the actual climbs. It makes no sense for some algorithm to determine the definition of a climb, then present a seemingly arbitrary portion of the climb with no ability to zoom. I believe that your focus on reviewing and comparing the various climb features as given by these companies misses the bigger picture … I think many of us would benefit from improved elevation profile view. A start would an option to have the ClimbPro page always on and ability zoom in/out.

  125. Richard

    Has the SD card slot gone?

    • usr

      Already disappeared with the move from 1030 to 1030+.

      I perceived that as a loss, because I’m one of those people who’d occasionally actually do the microSd juggle when some more sophisticated connectivity fails (never had a smartphone without microSD, even my last feature phone had the microSD slot!). But considering how many of the Garmin problems that appear on the web resolve themselves with “have you tried removing the microSD?”, I really can’t blame them.

  126. Joe

    I realize this is a very specific question, but when mounted on the same quarter-turn mount, how far does the 1040 extend forward compared to something like the Karoo 2? I realize the 1040 is bigger but I’m not sure how much of a difference there will be in the mount position on the 1040 vs the K2.

    The reason I ask is because I’ve got a phone mount out-front and put my K2 on a K-edge stem mount; I’m not sure there’d be enough space there to fit the 1040.

  127. Tyler

    Why, oh why, do they not add a proper headlight, or at the very least a daytime running light to the front of their bike computers?

    It seemed that battery life was the only reason before, and now that’s conquered.

    I know there are all kinds of different riders, but for me, all of that battery life in the computer makes no sense, if you have to lug along a large and heavy headlight or two, to be both more visible during the day, and to light up your path at night.
    I want a bike computer with at least a safety light, that will last for 24 hour rides, like the Garmin owned Unbound 200 and 350 XL race series.

    Both the dated Varia headlight and the integrated flashlight in the Fenix 7X show they know enough about LED lights, to get it done.

    • Paul S.

      How is the battery life conquered? Lights are battery sinks if they’re bright enough to see and especially if they’re bright enough to light the way, and you generally use them at night, when there is no sunlight. Garmin sells headlights if you want (I have a UT800), and I’ll bet a large fraction of the weight is the battery required to run the light for hours. Little blinky lights are also available if you want them (I have several) that can be mounted various places. No need to include one in the head unit.

    • Tyler

      With 70-100 (or even 180) hours of battery time on the 1040 Solar, I would think that between the battery capacity/management and the solar constantly adding more time, that you’d get at least 16 hours of day flasher (the UT800 Varia had 25 hours of daytime flasher at 700 lumen, when new in 2017), and at least 8 hours of night time mode (UT800 had 3 hours at 400 lumen, 6 hours at 200 lumen, and again is 5 years old – LED and battery tech has advanced a great deal).

      I’d take a 200 lumen, 24 hour light built in as primary/backup.
      Or one that was bright enough to light rough roads for 8 hours of darkness.
      Would make all cyclists easier to be seen and easier to see.
      Great back up option for battery/dynamo failures on endurance races.

  128. Lots to see here. I think it will be interesting to see how all this fits into the “540/840” box when it comes. I’m quite happy with my 530 now. But a likely 840 with touchscreen and the new bells & whistles seems like a likely buy for me. Thank you for the review.

  129. Niv

    Got one today. The 1040. Located in Israel, how do I download a map of Israel?

  130. RichardW

    Solar charging will likely affect battery life over time (charge/discharge cycles) adversely due to heat generation while simultaneously charging and discharging the battery. Most battery power bank manufacturers do not support passthrough charging or only support it on limited models for this reason. A few power bank manufacturers that focus on solar recharging support it but at a cost of battery life. Does Garmin include an option to disable solar charging, since it’s a feature that will only be needed occasionally for very long rides (randonneuring, etc.) ? See link to powerbankexpert.com and link to blog.ravpower.com

    • I responded up above somewhere on this topic, but in short, there’s no concerns here.

      Garmin has been doing solar charging on their wearables with lithium batteries for three years now, with no impacts (and that has far more potential given it’s used 24×7, so every time you walk outside it’d trigger).

      Nonetheless, I specifically asked Garmin about this two days ago, and they said they do a bunch of things to mitigate these concerns, and were going to write up a bit more techy detail here over the next few days

      One thing to keep in mind is that this isn’t just a random company sticking a 3rd party OEM solar panel in the device and calling it macaroni. Garmin specifically acquired a wearable solar panel company some 4-5 years ago for these efforts.

  131. Robert Dredge

    Would you trade in a Hammerhead Karoo 2 for this?

  132. Ladislav Krajcsik

    Any idea why its not showing the device name in strava activity?thxx

    • usr

      The file that gets uploaded and eventually ends up on Strava’s servers does not contain the actual device name, it only contains a pair of numbers identifying manufacturer and model. The device name won’t appear before some Strava intern takes care of adding the name to their translation table.

  133. David W

    Hi Ray, have you tried the 1040 with SRAM AXS? I connected to my Eagle AXS and the largest cog I could enter was 45 teeth. Sad, since Eagle AXS goes to 52. Have you tried this or seen this? Can you enter cogs larger than 45 (what the 1040 tells me is that max)?

  134. Hannes

    Hi Ray,

    thanks a lot for this review. As always so detailed and very very useful.

    One question to the “Up Ahead”-Function: Is it possible (when riding a selected course) to find the next/nearest waterstation/bikeshop/whatever during a ride? My first bakery choice is closed, so i need the next one. I didnt got this out of your review, perhaps this function is nothing special, but my old edge 810 hasn’t this 🙂

    Thanks a lot

    • usr

      A dedicated hardware button for bringing up a list of upcoming ice cream opportunities, ordered by length of the detour required? I’d order immediately!

    • Hannes

      For example, yes. Ice cream is a better choice than water stations.

      But would be great – even if i am on a course – the possibility to search water/ice cream around my actual location.

  135. Leslie McElhaney

    All this, but still no support for sub-segments or concurrent Strava Live Segments with a Course. Humbug.

  136. BMC Brian

    To me the interesting part is the differences in the color scheme; just like the Forerunner 955, only the solar versions are all black.

  137. Karl R

    Hello Ray,

    Thanks for the comprehensive, in-depth review; much appreciated.

    I have a question for you – does it make sense to upgrade from the 830 to the 1040?

    Since none of my cranks are Stages or 4iiii PM compatible – I’m left with buying the Rally XC200 pedals at $1200 – and I don’t use turn-by-turn nav functionality much (rarely get lost here in the south suburbs of Denver, CO). The Edge 830 maps are hard to see (for me). I like the idea of a bigger screen however, maybe my iPhone would be better for those times I use the nav feature. I do use a Polar H10 HRM so I get by with that for monitoring effort.

    Between the XC200 pedals and standard 1040, we’re talking north of $1800.

    Just unsure if, in my specific situation, I truly need a 1040. Maybe I’d feel a little more certain if Assioma had a delivery date for their upcoming PM spindles for Shimano SPD’s (they don’t).

    Again, thanks for the review.

    • Tom

      I have an 830. I just received my 1040. I just boxed the 1040 back up to return it.

      Garmin still don’t support pinch-to-zoom or touch panning of the maps which is unbelievable to me. As a result using the maps continues to be extremely frustrating and means that I’ll continue to rely on my phone when I actually need to navigate. The garmin navigation itself works just fine, but interacting with it via their terrible UI isn’t worth the effort. — The larger screen IS nice for my aging eyes but on the solar unit the contrast isn’t there and everything looks washed out. I think the 830 screen looks better.

      I’d pass on the 1040.

    • Karl R

      Thanks, Tom.

      Yeah, the other day on a ride, there was a detour off the bike trail and the 830 went into “u-turn” mode so I had to dig out my cell phone to figure out how to get back to the trail using Google Maps. Maybe that’s the best way to go…if the 830 spazzs out, just open Google Maps for help.

      So I’ll wait…

      Again, thanks for the info.

    • camillo

      On my 1040 pinch-to-zoom and touch panning of the maps do work (they were working on my edge 1000 already but they were terribly slow).

    • Nuno Pinto

      When you are on the map screen, and click on the “hand” to move the map around the screen, then you can zoon in/out using the pinch gesture…
      For the rest is still outdated and just silly old….why, ho why does GARMIN not improve the usability on the maps….like many others I used the EDGE 90% of the time for navigation/follow a track….

  138. Marshall Peterson

    How about the length of a route? I’m on a team doing the RAAM. It’s 3000 mi with lots of turns and twists. I’m sure the Edge 1040 won’t hold the entire route, sorry to say, how would you manage the route with a 1040?

    • Andrew M

      While I’ve done multi-day routes, I’ve never done anything like RAAM. But I would divide it into sections of approx. 100 miles, or perhaps 1 day in length, ending at checkpoints or major service towns that are likely stops. Smaller files are less likely to crash the unit, and also are easier to handle if there is a last minute course change. Editing the whole course for a minor diversion for roadworks would be a pain.

    • Marshall

      Thanks Andrew. Good points. I’d like to be able to load longer routes. Inevitably the need to load a new section will come at the worst possible time, fatigue, rain, dark of night. All good candidates for a mistake. The fewer route loads the better I think. If anyone has experience on longer routes I’d appreciate your insight.

    • Nate C

      I’ve done some long-distance bike-touring, and I always design my routes as one route per day, which in fully-loaded touring for me generally means around 100 miles or less. It has worked well in the past on Edge 810 and 830 models, and I can’t imagine anything that would work differently about this on newer ones.

      Looks like you could try and load the whole RAAM route by downloading the GPX:
      link to ridewithgps.com

      But I agree with Andrew M that you would probably be better served having the routes from one time-station to the next. You can load them all on your device (just make sure the names of the route files start with something like “TS1-Borrego Springs”, “TS2-Brawley,CA” so that they’ll be in alphabetical order. If you don’t trust yourself to load the right route, assign that task to your crew so they can make sure it gets done right when you roll into a time station. I think it’s not uncommon for routes to change a little at the last minute and those route-updates are put out by the race via notifications. Someone on your crew could update/program the new routes and swap in updated route files in that case (or maybe the race will send out an updated GPX in some cases). And if you somehow got out of the time station without loading the next route, hopefully you’ll at least remember the name of the station and easily be able to start the next route from the list/names.

      Looking at the first section of RAAM (RAW), it looks like all of the time stations are about 100 miles or less from each other: link to raceacrossthewest.org

      Additionally, you’ll probably want to think about how you will record your data. I would probably save each ride file individually and start a new ride at each time station (or each of your “pulls/turns” if you’re doing a relay) since this will minimize data loss if the size of the data file leads to corruption and a crash if you were trying to record the whole multi-stage thing in one file. Or record on two devices, with one device for the whole route (will need charging) and a second device for each stage.

  139. Gü Bosch

    Great test, as always.
    On the 1030 there is a long delay between touchscreen press and reacting to it. Sometimes the screen press is not processed at all.
    Question: is the 1040 now faster?

    • There are still some lags eg a 5-second lag around the Stress Test menu. Generally, the screen flows are good but sometimes very slightly stuttery and not as smooth as you might expect on a top-end bike computer.
      To answer your question, there is a 0.5 to 2-second delay from a simple screen tap. it varies.

    • Nuno Pinto

      I had the same issue and got a 1030+. However when the 1030 was new, I had no lagging . My theory is that this is forced obsolescence caused by the firmware, with updates and “fixes”.

  140. Volker

    Hi Ray, maybe I have overlooked something:

    I am really wondering , why you have not tested a 1040 and a 1040s. I am very interessted in pics from both side by side in sun/shadow etc. in terms of display readability and reflections. I assume, the 1040s display do look worse compared to the 1040 display?

    regards

    Volker

  141. Joe Mallit

    With my 830 when I end up detoured because of road work I just get told to make a u-turn when following a Strava course, It sounds like they actually have made it smart enough to truly reroute from reading above. If that is the case this is something I might have to consider. I am in the 45 day window on a Karoo2 which does actual rerouting in my opinion.

  142. Martin

    Hey Ray – Thanks for the in-depth review!

    Would you know if Garmin’s 1040 engineers still consider a delay of 10 – 15 seconds as “normal” and “acceptable”, for the new 1040 – as they did for the 1030 Plus – when it comes to reacting and displaying actual gradient changes? This was indeed frustrating for me on the previous model.

    Once again, many thanks for your thorough reviews.

    • Paul S.

      I’m a little mystified about why you guys want immediate incline information, but if you actually do, go to Amazon and search for “Sky Mounti Bicycle Inclinometer”. Cheap. Be sure to calibrate it.

    • Giuseppe

      @Paul S.

      Who cares if you are mystified?

      You seem like a devote fanboi with your sarcastic unhelpful replies here.

      I love and need fast gradient change reporting and got accustomed to it with my Edge 1000.

      Had the Sky Mounti years ago. Haha. Awesome for the price. No more real estate room on my handlebars though.

    • David W

      With as many features as the 1040 has it is inevitable that some people will care about a feature more than others. I don’t really care about instantaneous grade because it doesn’t change anything I’ll do in the ride. Same with temperature. Doesn’t matter to me at all. I can tell if it is hot or cold without an on- bike thermometer.

      HOWEVER, the features DO matter to other users. And the reason why they care doesn’t matter. If Garmin is going to supply a feature it should work as best as possible. Otherwise, who offer it at all? Popularity of a feature only affects where it falls on the list of things to fix.

    • Paul S.

      You’ve hit the reason I’m mystified by all this. Slope is not an actionable number. Whatever your device is telling you, it is what it is, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Knowing or not knowing is not going to change the fact that I have to get my ass over the climb. That my 830 is still showing a positive number a few seconds after I start to descend doesn’t bother me and doesn’t change reality. Altitude is the same way. I calibrate before every ride, so it’s usually fairly good, but the top of Big Flat (a local high point, 10 ft lower than the local highest point) is 2410 ft no matter what my 830 is telling me. The point of my short Amazon search was to show myself that if you want better, it’s easily available (well, probably a bubble level isn’t that much use on gravel or in the mountains, but it should be fine on pavement).

      You’re also assume that Garmin isn’t doing the best they can. What they’re doing now for slope seems to be change in altitude/change in horizontal distance. It works well so long as you realize you can’t get immediate results that way. Maybe they could include an inclinometer (if the accelerometer they include can’t already do that) but at what cost? And, inevitably, there will be exchanges here and elsewhere “The slope they’re showing me is crap” “Did you calibrate it?” “No. You mean I have to calibrate it? Garmin sux”

      For the same reason, I’m mystified reading Ray’s watch reviews that people want their watches to be able to tell them how they feel or how well they’ve slept. They don’t already know that?

      I actually have an Edge 1000, which I keep ready so that it can take over from the 830 if something goes wrong. I’m going to try it on a ride or two in the near future, but I used it regularly for 2 1/2 years and I don’t remember it being any better in the slope category than the 830 is. Haven’t actually used it at all for a few months now, though, and not daily for a few years.

  143. Joe DeBlasio

    Please add me to the growing list (a much larger list than you, Garmin or even myself expected) of people that are still using the Varia Vision and will stick to my current 1030+ to be able to have the safety that the Varia Vision supplies. I hope Garmin figures out that it costs them absolutely nothing to continue to allow us to use a device that they technically still sell on their website today.

    • Paul S.

      It’s listed as “Discontinued” on buy.garmin.com (at least the US version), so they no longer sell it on their site (at least the US version). Search for “VIRB” and you find the same for the cameras. I’m actually a little surprised that the 1040 still supports the VIRB. Good for me as a VIRB 360 owner. Sucks for you as a Varia Vision owner.

    • Alain Quesnel

      The Garmin web site still sold the Varia Vision up until recently as an accessory for their marine stuff (nav, depth finders, etc). Wasn’t listed in the bike section. But now it looks like it’s really discontinued.

  144. mariog

    Hi Ray,
    i have a a 1030+ and have strava segments enabled however due to some sort of limitation. the segment screen do not pop up when navigating or following a course. if i end navigation all my starred strava segments show up
    it this limitation still on the 1040?

  145. Nuno Pinto

    One of my complaints with garmin since 1000 is the inability to change the size of things showing on map, mostly the triangle that shows your position/direction. The triangle is minuscule, also. I own a 1030+ and the settings on MAP (high contrast/regular) os not very helpful.

  146. BMC Brian

    First ride and I have to say the display (non-solar) is better and the touch screen doesn’t have any delays.

    For the life of me I can’t figure out how to get the Di2 front chainring shift alerts back. They aren’t showing up. Ray, do you know if somehow this is a glitch in the software? I am using S2 shifting same as on the 1030 plus.

    Also with setup, it moved my sensors over which was nice, not not my display screen settings.

  147. Pierre

    Ray,

    You mention the slight difference in the screen between the regular and the solar. In your photos, the non-solar appears to have brighter colors. Can you comment on the difference of the colors on the screens a bit more between the regular and solar models ?

    Thanks

    • No difference in the colors of the screens per say (it’s the same), however, the solar panel has a darkening effective, so it reduces the vibrancy a bit.

      The Edge 1040 vs Edge 1040 Solar photo I have was taken inside next to a window on a craptastically rainy day, so it’s not going to be as vibrant as outside on a sunny day.

      As noted above, I noticed the darkness difference, but only in the perspective of having used other units for more years than I can count. After a few rides I didn’t really notice it much anymore.

    • David W

      For me, with terrible eyes, the brightness of other units (like Stages) made it possible to read the data without glasses. On my 1040 Solar the big, bold, fonts make it possible for me to read the data no matter how dark the screen. I only have the backlight at 30% and I can easily read the screen. I don’t really need the solar since I never ride more than 30 hours. I mainly got it for the increased memory and not having to manage the maps.

  148. Otto Destruct

    As an aside: the Solar version comes with both a rubber bumper case, and an additional MTB mount for a total of THREE mounts. (MTB + out-front + standard)

    In the Canadian market at least, the extra mount and rubber case account for almost half of the price difference between Solar and non-Solar, narrowing the gap between the two.

    Perhaps irrelevant to some, I took advantage of it and put a mount on each of my bikes.

  149. Thomas

    “With Garmin’s introduction of the Edge 1040 Series they’ve become the first bike computer to not only add solar panels to it,…”
    Well not exactly, because Cateye had already in 1985 solar cells on their bike computer:
    link to flickr.com

    I remember that because I bought one for my bicycle travels “back in the days”™ (just goes to show how old I am.)