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Garmin Edge 840 Cycling GPS In-Depth Review

Garmin has just announced the new Edge 840, as well as Edge 540 units. And like last year, with the more expensive Edge 1040, both the 540 and 840 get Solar variants. However, the changes go far beyond just sunny-side-up or not. In fact, arguably, the solar piece is really the least important change. Instead, the huge bulk of the changes are software-focused, effectively matching that of the higher-end Edge 1040 series, bringing in tons of new functionality, including one entirely new-to-Garmin feature: Free-ride ClimbPro. You no longer have to be on a course/route to get up-ahead climb information.

Of course, it’s not just a buffet of software features, but also some hardware changes, including the switch to USB-C, as well as the addition of multi-band/dual-frequency GPS/GNSS. And for better or worse, the unit got a bit chubbier as well. Hey – you can’t win them all! Note that both new units are near-identical, but this review is focused purely on the Edge 840 model, which has a touchscreen that the Edge 540 lacks. It also has a few other differences outlined in the next section.

Garmin sent over media loaners to test out. As usual, this review is not sponsored (nor does any company get to preview anything I review), and I don’t take any advertiser money from any companies I review. Once this unit goes back, I’ll go out and buy 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:

It’s been four years this month since the Edge 830 came out (alongside the Edge 530). During that time, the 530/830 received an astonishing number of feature updates, alongside the Edge 1030 and then Edge 1030 Plus. My goal in this ‘what’s new’ section isn’t to compare to the Edge 530/830 devices at release, but rather, to compare what’s new on the Edge 840 as of now. Meaning, taking into account all those firmware updates.

With that in mind, the vast majority of newness here software-wise has already been seen on the Edge 1040 since last summer. There’s really only a couple of features (freeride ClimbPro, ClimbPro Explorer, & to a lesser extent revamped daily suggested workouts for races) that are actually new-new here. And those are also coming to the Edge 1040 in a firmware update shortly. Here’s all the new things:

– Edge 840 has BOTH touchscreen and full button set (previously only had partial button set)
– Added multiband/dual-frequency GPS
– Added solar panels for Edge 540/840 Solar editions
– Added USB-C connection for charging/sync
– Made it slightly chubbier to accommodate solar panels (non-Solar edition is also same new dimensions)
– Completely revamped the user interface everywhere (matches Edge 1040)
– Added Power Guide race/training pacing feature
– Added ClimbPro Free-Ride mode, which automatically triggers ClimbPro without a route
– Added Climb Explorer dashboard for finding nearby climbs
– Added Connect IQ Widget Glances to Homepage/Dashboard
– Added Training Status 2.0
– Added full automatic race/event suggested workouts using a periodized/phased daily plan leading up to event, inclusive of any Garmin wearable data shifts (e.g., automatically reducing planned workout if you got no sleep on a redye flight)
– 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 (expanded from initial Edge 1040 launch)
– 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 PRs
– 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 ability to use phone for typing text on Edge
– Added ability to manually transfer sensors and device profiles to Edge from phone at any time (not just first setup)
– Added Garmin Connect IQ App Store on-device marketplace
– Added LiveTrack Spectator Messaging
– Changed nearby POI/Things search to be virtually instant
– Far faster route calculation/recalculation times
– Increased ClimbPro coloring to show more gradient definition
– Now automatically changes map popularity type to match activity (I.e., Road vs MTB)
– Changed screen background default from black to white for improved “readability”
– Removed horrifically unreliable duplicate Bluetooth pairing process for phones
– Removed Varia Vision sensor support
– Removed device transfer (sharing between units)
– Same 2.6” touchscreen size/resolution as before, however, Garmin says it has improved contrast ratio and color filters
– Weight is 90g for Edge 840 solar (up from 80g for Edge 830)
– Battery life up to 48 hours non-solar, 78 hours solar. Up to 34 hours with Multi-Band GPS mode with Solar (battery chart lower down)
– Simplified Bluetooth phone pairing to single connection (versus previous dual legacy BT and BT smart)

Additionally, while this is offered on the Edge units, it came much later, but it is still present on the newer units, and wanted to call it out:

– Paired sensor transfer from existing Garmin Edge units
– Activity Profile settings transfer from existing Garmin Edge units

In total, there are three SKUs/variants for both the Edge 540 & Edge 840, they are as follows (which include basically a $50+ price increase over the previous generation):

– Edge 540 base: $349/€399/£349
– Edge 540 Solar: $449/€499/£449
– Edge 540 Performance Bundle (which includes heart rate strap, speed sensor, cadence sensor): $449/€499/£449
– Edge 840 base: $449/€499/£449
– Edge 840 Solar: $549/€599/£549
– Edge 840 Performance Bundle (which includes heart rate strap, speed sensor, cadence sensor): $549/€599/£519

And the short version of how the Edge 540 vs 840 differs is actually surprisingly simple:

1) The Edge 840 has a touchscreen display, the 540 does not (both have full sets of buttons)
2) The Edge 840 has 32GB of storage versus 16GB on the Edge 540
3) The Edge 840 comes pre-loaded with two regions, the Edge 540 with one pre-loaded (but you can swap/download others after for free)
4) The Edge 840 can search on-device for specific street addresses and GPS coordinates, the Edge 540 cannot.
5) The Edge 840 has Trailforks maps pre-activated, versus with the Edge 540 you need to manually activate it once (also free)
6) The Edge 840 can manually build a multi-step structured workout on-device (using touch), the Edge 540 you need to send from app/3rd party/daily suggested workouts, or use interval builder on-device
7) The Edge 840 editions cost $100 more

(Side note: If you’re trying to build a complex multi-step workout on-device, something in your day/life/cycling world has gone horrifically wrong, you really don’t want to do this, even on the Edge 840. Trust me, nothing good comes from that rabbit hole.)

Honestly, the only two things that really matter in that above list besides price, for 99% of the people are the touch (and that’s a big deal here), and the bigger storage size if you frequently fly across the pond (any pond).

Phew, got all that? Good, let’s crack it open.

In the Box:

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There are a couple of different bundles available of the Edge 840, but in my case, I’ve just got the simple Edge 840 Solar base unit kit. Other bundles include things like extra sensors or such.

Here’s everything unboxed on a table:

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Inside you’ll find the Edge 840 itself, along with a lanyard in the event you don’t have full trust in the mount. While mounts do break, I’ve only ever seen that occur during a major crash, or if you’ve overloaded a 3rd party mount with too-heavy items (which doesn’t really apply here). There’s also a small hex wrench in case you need to remove the inside of the mount to add a Garmin battery pack/power bank.

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Then we’ve got the included out-front mount. It’s plastic, but is a beefcake plastic, so it’s certainly gonna be pretty difficult to break. It comes with a few different collars, in case you have bigger/smaller handlebars.

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Then there’s the rubber quarter-turn mounts that most people use. These have been standard on Garmin bike GPS units for almost 15 years now, and work great. Super quick and easy to switch around between bikes.

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And finally, the USB-C charging cable – woot!

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The weight of the Edge 540 Solar is 85g, 840 Solar is 90g, and 1040 Solar edition is 134g. Oh, and if you were to compare it to the Edge 530/830, you’ll see it chunked up a bit, presumably to fit the solar panels in there (Left: Edge 830, Edge 540 Solar, Edge 840 Solar, Edge 1040 Solar)

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And for fun, here’s a lineup with a bunch of units: Wahoo BOLT V2, Edge 830, Edge 540 Solar, Edge 840 Solar, Wahoo ROAM V2, Hammerhead Karoo 2, Garmin Edge 1040 Solar.

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Next is getting it all configured and covering some of the basic usability bits.

Basics and Configuration:

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The biggest physical difference on the Edge 840 compared to the Edge 830 is that it’s got a full set of buttons. Previously, Garmin’s touchscreen devices always had fewer buttons than their untouchable counterparts. However, since Garmin started introducing touchscreens to their Fenix wearables last year, they’ve shifted to a model of ‘equality’ when it comes to touch vs buttons. Basically, you can choose whether you want to use buttons or touch, for virtually every operation. The only notable exception being you have to use a physical button to start/stop a ride.

You can see the 7 buttons on the Edge 840 below. Essentially the side buttons are for navigation/confirmation in menus, whereas the front/bottom ones are for stop/start/lap. Those bottom buttons are (never?) used in any menus at all, they are only ever for starting/stopping a ride.

Garmin-Edge840-ButtonSide1 Garmin-Edge840-ButtonSide2

Meanwhile, atop you’ve got a touchscreen for all the touching you want to do. I haven’t had any issues in either sunny/hot/sweaty conditions, or everyday Amsterdam rainy conditions using the touchscreen. Same goes for gloves – no problems there as you can see in some of my videos. In fact, here’s both a rain and touchscreen glove test:

In fact, the Edge 840 is probably the first time I’m mostly switching my recommendation towards preferring the 840 vs the 540 (historically I’ve always kinda preferred the 510/520/530 series devices over the 810/820/830 devices), in part because I found the buttons faster. But as the reliability and ease of use of Garmin’s touchscreen has improved, I found it harder and harder to go back to a pure button setup on the Edge 540. Obviously, that’s partially because I’ve become accustomed to the good touchscreen on the 840/1040, but also because…it’s 2023 – touch for certain operations feels natural (like mapping, swiping data pages, or quickly changing data fields mid-ride).

The other major change is the USB-C charging port on the button. Sure, you’ve got solar panels up top for the Edge 540/840 Solar editions (more on that in the Solar section down below), but frankly those just don’t charge too much. Instead, you’re likely to plug it in, and you can do so here with any USB-C charger (such as your laptop).

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The port has a little cover, but it’s also internally waterproofed to IPX7. That means you can crash into a shallow canal (up to 1 meter deep), and then you’ve got 30 minutes to fish it out. Note that like airline safety demonstrations, you should save yourself first from the canal, before saving your accessories.

Also, there’s a small lanyard hole next to the cover, in case that’s your kind of thing. It’s not my preference, but no judgements.

On the back of the unit there’s a standard Garmin quarter-turn mount that’s been used for the past 15 years. This mount is found on countless 3rd party mount accessories, and even a number of bikes have it built-in these days.

Garmin-Edge840-Back

You’ll also notice the power pins there. Those are compatible with Garmin’s severely outdated battery pack, as well as their brand new Garmin Edge Power Mount from last summer (if your bike has power in it, and can power items forever). I’ve used it with the power mount and it worked just fine. When used with the power mount, it’ll disable solar charging. I presume the same for the battery pack.

Garmin-Edge-840-PowerMount

Battery-wise, we’ll talk about those claims at the end of this section, and my test results.

Once you power it on (upper left button), you’ll see your ride profiles up top. By default this is Road/Mountain/Indoor, but you can customize each one, or create your own. They’ve all got their own colors, and within that, you can customize data pages/settings for each of them. This is handy when you want mountain bike metrics different from road cycling metrics, and then perhaps a more reduced set for indoor riding.

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Below that you’ll find what is essentially a ‘What’s new’ panel. This shows you the last notable thing to sync to the device, or thing that you’ve done. For example, if you have a structured workout scheduled, it’ll show that. If you just sent a new course/route to the unit, it’ll show that. If you just completed a ride, it’ll show that, and so on.

Each one of these sections, as you scroll down, is both a menu item, but also a customizable widget. You can add widgets from both Garmin as well as 3rd parties onto it. For example, if you open up the ‘Navigation’ widget, you’ll see where you can load courses, browse the map, or navigate to saved locations. I cover navigation and mapping in the Navigation section down below.

You can customize this list at the bottom. For example, I added Acute Load, Training Status, and Load Focus to my list.

Edge840-WidgetGlanceTweak

Next, you can swipe-down from the top to access a common set of menus whether doing a ride or not. This has controls like changing your ride profile, turning on/off GPS, the battery, screen brightness, sensors, and more. If you tap left/right, you’ll get additional control panels. For example, if you’re in a course, you can stop the course. Or inversely, you can route somewhere like back to home, from this panel. Same goes for stopping/starting a structured workout, or turning on/off bike lights if those are attached. There’s a notifications panel to see missed notifications, a weather page to see that it’s probably still raining outside in Amsterdam, and then both a Strava Segment explorer and a new Climb Explore feature (more on that in the ClimbPro section).

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This is really one of the areas the Edge 840 with the touchscreen really shines compared to the Edge 540 with the buttons. It’s just more cumbersome to navigate these controls menus on the 540. Not hard, but just not dead-quick/easy/simple like on the 840/1040.

Next, back on the main page you’ll see that three-lined ‘hamburger’ menu option, which opens up the menu itself:

Edge840-Menu

That dives into all the different settings areas, this includes tweaking your Activity Profiles, such as the data pages and data fields you want. But that’s also areas like how ClimbPro works, or how nutrition alerts work, and the gazillion different settings that Garmin offers.

Edge840-ActivityProfileOverview Garmin-Edge840-CustomizeActivityProfile Garmin-Edge840-ActivityProfile3

However, all of these things can be configured from the phone now. Like the Edge 1040, you don’t have to do this on the unit itself, but can tweak these quickly from the Garmin Connect Mobile app.

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In fact, if you had an older Edge device, then all of these would have migrated over as part of the Activity Profile migration setup process that’s offered when setting up a new device. And, even more notable is that new to the Edge 540/840 (and coming to the Edge 1040), is the ability to do both a sensor transfer and activity profile transfer whenever you want, not just during initial setup.

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That same concept applies to sensors. You can manually set them up from the device itself, or you can have it migrate all your previously paired sensors from other Garmin Edge devices. From a sensor standpoint, the Edge 540/840 support:

– Heart Rate (ANT+/Bluetooth)
– Speed/cadence (ANT+/Bluetooth)
– Garmin VIRB Action Cam (ANT+)
– ANT+ Cycling Lights (front or rear)
– ANT+ Cycling Radar Sensors
– Power meters (ANT+/Bluetooth)
– Garmin inReach Satellite communicators
– Garmin Edge remote controls
– Shimano STEPS
– eBike (ANT+)
– ANT+ Shifting (Campagnolo/SRAM)
– Shimano Di2 (proprietary ANT)
– Garmin Tempe Sensor (ANT+ temperature sensor)
– ANT+ FE-C Cycling Smart Trainers/Bikes
– ANT+ Extended Display

Basically, it’s the same list as before. As with before, you can pair multiple types of the same sensor (e.g. three power meters on different bikes), each giving them your own names as you see fit.

Garmin-Edge840-SensorSet

I haven’t had any problems with any sensors during my usage, which has included multiple power meters (Stages LR, Garmin Rally, Garmin Vector 3), multiple heart rate sensors (Polar H10, Garmin HRM-PRO Plus), a few trainers/smart bikes (Wahoo KICKR Bike and Wahoo KIKR V6), and two different radar units (Garmin RVR-315 & Magene L508). All worked as expected.

Finally, there’s the incident detection and live tracking. You can set this up once, and then you don’t have to worry about it again, it’ll just automatically send an e-mail to your family/friends with a LiveTrack link in case you go missing (or just so they know when you’ll be home). In my case, I’ve set it up to automatically e-mail my wife each time I start a ride.

Garmin-Edge840-SafetyLiveTrackMenus

She’ll see both my current location as well as the planned route (if loaded). Also, she’ll see how much suffering I’m doing with sensor data like heart rate/cadence/power. I will give Garmin credit where credit is due. LiveTrack a few years ago used to be completely useless and full of connectivity issues and drops. These days, I find it generally quite dependable. Both myself and my wife use it on every ride, almost always without issue.

DCR-LiveTrackRide

Tied in with that is incident detection, which will detect when you crash. Or, if some other big impact happens. The algorithm is basically using the accelerometers and gyros internally, in conjunction with looking at your speed. The idea being if there’s a big g-force impact and your speed goes to zero, you’ve probably crashed. Whereas inversely, if your speed is maintained after a big impact, then you’ve likely just been riding on normal Belgium pot-hole filled roads. Or, you were hit by a turnip truck and are now lying atop it and the truck is still moving.

I haven’t had any false-positives with the Edge 540/840 unit, though I do tend to average 1-2 per year, usually when I drop off a sidewalk edge or something and then immediately stop quickly at a light (such as to get around cars/traffic/construction blocking a bike lane). That tends to trip the conditions above. You’ve got 10-15 seconds to cancel the notification, before it sends a very dire text to your loved ones telling them things have gone poorly. It’ll continue tracking your location in the text it sends to them, in case you’re then brought to a hospital, they know where to find you.

Given that positive note, let’s head outside and start riding with it.

Riding with it:

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The first order of business is simply quarter-turning it onto the mount and turning it on.  From there, you’ll choose the ride profile by just tapping on it, or changing it by tapping the left/right arrows.

If you want to load up a course, now’s the time to do it via the ‘Navigation’ option, or if you just synced a course, it’ll show up on the ‘What’s New’ widget section. Same goes for any structured training, now’s the time to choose it. Generally speaking, I’ll load the course first, and then load the training, but it doesn’t really matter.

When loading a course, if you’re not at the course start point, it’ll offer to route you to the beginning of the course. I generally skip this option unless I’m actually not at the start and don’t know how to get there. Also, some of these images are a bit harder to see than I realized, the camera was off-angle. Apologies! In real-life, there’s no issues seeing off-angle like with cameras.

GarminEdge840-LoadCourse Garmin-Edge840-NavigateToBeginning

Once all that’s settled, you can press the start button and start riding. As noted earlier, the only way to start recording is to press that physical lower right button. This ensures any weird touchscreen things don’t impact the recording of your ride. By default, if you start riding but don’t press any buttons, it’ll notice you’re going somewhere and start chirping to press start. Inversely, auto-pause is on by default, which will pause the timer when you stop (such as at a stop-light). You can change that in the settings.

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Once riding, you’ll see the data pages as configured. You can either swipe with your hand left/right, or press the up/down buttons on the left side to move from page to page. There’s a lot of pages by default on the Edge units, and some of them can become somewhat duplicates of others. For example, the elevation profile page is handy if you’re riding mostly casual rolling hills, but if you’ve got steeper climbs that trigger ClimbPro, then it’s just sorta in the way. Customization is easy via the app.

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By default, the unit will use the new multi-band/dual-frequency GPS/GNSS. This means higher accuracy, but it also means lower battery life in that mode. This mode is best if you’re spending time in the mountains, cities, or spending time offroad in dense trees. If you’re mostly riding on farm roads or out in suburbia, you can just use the regular mode ‘Balanced’ GPS option to save a bunch of battery life (details in the charts in a second). You can always access this by just swiping down from the top, and remember it’s per-activity profile. So you can go to ‘Balanced’ for your road bike profile, but leave it on Multi-GNSS for your MTB profile.

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If you’ve got any timers or alerts, those will appear as you ride. For example, you can set up nutrition/hydration alerts under the ‘Alerts & Prompts’ section, which lets you create independent reminders for both of those, as well as a bunch of other categories like power/cadence/time, and even a ‘Turn-Around’ reminder for a set distance.

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These will then show up mid-ride based on how you’ve configured them. For eat/drink alerts, you can also have it be ‘smart’ alerts based on figuring out calories (food), as well as temperatures/intensity (hydration).

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Meanwhile, if you trip a Strava Segment, it’ll automatically show you the Strava Live Segment page. Note that you can use Live Segments with courses, but it has to be a Strava Course, so that it bakes the segment into it.

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In terms of display visibility, I’ve had no real issues in viewing the screen. As with the Edge 1040 Solar, the solar variants are slightly darker than the non-solar variants, due to the solar panel being overlaid atop the screen (across the entire screen at a 15% photovoltaic level). You can’t visually see it, but you do notice it’s slightly darker for the same backlight setting. In some conditions I found I needed to bump-up the backlight from the default ‘Auto’ setting to just a touch bit brighter. But nothing major.

Once your ride is done, you’ll get two sets of summary pages. The first is focused on training load related metrics, followed by some solar (if applicable) and then sensor pairing bits. After which there’s a second page that covers more of your ride details, including a course outline, total ride stats, and plenty more. No really, a disturbing amount of stats are below, the more you scroll. All the way at the bottom you’ve also got a summarization of your climbs too, for any triggered climbs (via ClimbPro).

Finally, all of this gets synced to Garmin Connect virtually instantly via Bluetooth or WiFi (or USB if needed), and then onwards to 3rd party apps like Strava/TrainingPeaks/etc. You can see an example of one of my rides here on Garmin Connect:

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So – what about battery life? Well, let’s start with a quick look at the official charts for the Edge 540/840:

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In my case, for rides where I wasn’t doing some sort of screen recording, it was generally burning at a rate of about 25-40 hours, inclusive of some solar activity, but not often a lot. In my case, I would generally fall between the ‘Mid’ and ‘Demanding’ on the chart above, where I had multiband enabled, 1-second recording, and 2 sensors (power/HR), plus sometimes either a structured workout or navigation. I generally did not hang out on the map page (as that burns faster). I also had LiveTrack enabled and Auto backlight usually on/stays on.

My results for both the Edge 540 & Edge 840 basically match what I saw with the Edge 1040 in relation to Garmin’s battery claims: They were conservative – in some cases, hugely so. Meaning, in every one of my tests my battery burn rate was better than that of Garmin’s claims. Heck, that’s even with screen recording enabled and heavy debug information enabled (in case something went wrong) it surpassed Garmin’s claims (just barely despite all that load).

ClimbPro & New Free-Ride Mode:

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Years ago Garmin introduced ClimbPro, first on their wearables (the Fenix 5 Plus in 2018), and then on the Garmin Edge cycling computers starting with the Edge 530/830/1030 series. The goal of ClimbPro was that if you had a course loaded, you’d be able to see the exact profile of the climb both before-hand, as well as during the ride. As you approached the climb it’d count-down, and then once riding on the actual climb it’d show you details like gradient remaining, ascent remaining, and plenty more.

It continues to be my favorite Garmin feature out of everything they do. It makes it exceptionally easy to see how much suffering you have left.

The problem though, is that up till now, that required a route/course be loaded, or be doing some sort of pre-planned navigation. Meaning, if you were just doing a regular ride without a course/route loaded, you didn’t get climb information. Last spring, their GPS competitor Hammerhead, took this concept further with their own free-ride mode, allowing you to just approach a climb on the Karoo 2 bike computer, and see the same climb stats as if you had pre-planned it.

With the Edge 540/840, Garmin is now joining that camp too. You no longer need to have a route/course loaded. Instead, it’ll automatically attempt to figure out your climb based on the road you’re on, and then show you that route profile. The Edge 1040 will shortly get a firmware update enabling that feature as well.

In my testing, I’ve been using the Edge 540/840 in free-style ClimbPro mode side-by-side with the Edge 1040 with a course loaded, all of this also side-by-side with the Hammerhead Karoo 2 and Wahoo ROAM 2, to see how they handle.

First though, a quick look at ClimbPro in regular route mode. Basically, when you load a course, it’ll automatically show you the climbs from that course. These climbs are determined based on them meeting specific criteria for what constitutes a climb, with the minimum threshold being:

“3% gradient and 500m length, with both needing to be satisfied.”

However, you can also configure ClimbPro (per activity profile) to ignore smaller climbs, and only show bigger ones.

You can see the total number of climbs, and the exact specifications for each climb. While riding, it’ll show you the distance until the next climb. Thus, while the free-ride ClimbPro is great, for longer routes with multiple climbs, it’s nice to know what lies ahead.

As you approach the climb, you’ll get a warning about 100 meters out, and then the distance will count-down. Once you cross the threshold of the start of the climb, it’ll automatically switch to the ClimbPro page, which includes stats about the climb itself, as seen below:

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All of this worked just fine/as expected for me on both the 540 and 840 – matching exactly what I had on the Edge 1040 also concurrently operating. And in the case of all my climbs, ClimbPro ended at the top of each climb as expected (there’s currently an issue some people are seeing on some climbs on some routes on certain Edge units, seemingly tied to data from Strava, where the climbs can become offset – but for whatever reason, none of my climbs have triggered that).

So, that brings us to the newness, which are two pieces. The first is the new Climb Explorer drop-down menu, which lets you see nearby climbs. This menu shows you climbs sorted by nearness to you, upwards of 150 of them. It’s actually kinda astounding how many climbs are nearby some places I ride. Who knew?!?

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You can then tap on any given one to see more details about it, showing you the normal per-climb ClimbPro page:

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And then, from there, you can tap again to get directions to the base of that climb, ready for you to suffer.

Additionally, if you tap the upper right button, you can see the settings, allowing you to create some filters for this list:

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Notably, this list populates pretty quickly. You can see this in my main review video. That’s because Garmin has substantially increased the size of their mapset (in GB) to pre-cache/create all of these climbs. It’s actually kinda mind-boggling when you think of it, but this ensures that the data is fast and responsive, versus much slower (compared to creating a ‘Round-Trip’ course/route on demand, which takes forever). However, one minor thing to note is that the minimum threshold here is slightly higher than the 3% for ClimbPro as a whole. At present, the minimum threshold is 3.5% for the Climb Explore feature. Garmin says that this threshold might change over the coming months, pending user feedback.

All of which eventually gets us to the main new feature of the Edge 540/840, which is the ClimbPro free-ride mode. This means you just ride, and it does its magic. As you’re just riding along it’ll show you a notification as you approach a climb, just like with the course mode:

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And then, equally just like regular ClimbPro mode, it’ll show you the stats to the top of the climb:

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Literally, it’s exactly the same…except when it’s not.

Which is to say that the key difference is that it doesn’t actually know where the top of your climb is. For example, I went riding last week in Belgium, up many of the famed cobbled classic climbs. In that case, those are very crispy start/finish climbs. There’s no ambiguity, and having a course loaded on an Edge 1040 vs the climbs in free-style mode on the 540/840, they matched identically.

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However, the week before, when riding the climbs of Mallorca, it was a bit more mixed. In some cases, the climbs matched precisely, namely for climbs where again the top was crispy and clear. For example – climbing up Sa Calobra, the end is one known/clear spot with a sign and all. A few meters later, it goes downhill on the other side of the pass. That’s easy.

But getting to the backside of Sa Calobra from the flatlands? Well, that’s messier. There are multiple routes up, and most of them contain what is mostly regarded as one big climb, followed by some rolling flats for a while, before one more moderate climb. In this case, I saw differences for how it split this up. Coming via Lluc for example, in free-ride mode, it split the climb up at Lluc. I understand why it did this, because the road descends a bit first, then turns there and flattens out – before going back up. But that’s not the way most people define that climb. Most cyclists would say the top is up a bit higher near the road junction. Hammerhead’s free-style mode got this right (the screen recording for that died before I got to this section), as did Garmin’s course variant – but not Garmin’s free-ride ClimbPro.

But you can see below that the Edge 840 is about to end the climb in a few seconds, whereas the Edge 1040 with the known course knows that it’s another 3.38km to go after this brief downhill section. The Edge 840 assumes I’m taking a turn shortly thereafter.

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A few times, it started a climb too early, for example, on some very flat sections that were only 1-2% in gradient, hundreds of meters (or even kilometers) before the actual climb. Sure, I was barely going up, so on a technicality this is correct, but not from an accepted cyclist’s perspective (which again, in ClimbPro course mode it detected all of these correctly).

Which isn’t to say it’s bad. Far from it. Again, the vast and overwhelming majority of the time it was spot-on. But at the moment, Hammerhead’s free-ride mode does a better job at detecting the specifics of the start/end points. Inversely, Hammerhead’s CLIMBER mode is far inferior when it comes to the gradient data inside the feature. Meaning, it’s very often wrong about the upcoming gradient – and severely so. A very long-term problem that’s been going on for years, due to bad underlying data. I guess a case of pick your poison.

Finally, I did have two notable ClimbPro free-ride failures. The first was a case where the road itself ended, and then there was a barrier, followed by a dirt road that went higher. In that case, the free-ride mode told me to keep going, as if I was only half-done with the climb (both Garmin ClimbPro course-mode and Hammerhead Karoo 2 CLIMBER correctly finished the climb). Garmin tracked down this error and it’s already fixed in a firmware update issued last week after my ride. The second error was at the top of Sa Calobra, when the unit started to rapidly increase the remaining gradient, eventually ending up at 105% gradient. Yes, for real. In fact, you can see a similar variant of this bug  on the (above/below) Edge 840 screenshot showing “19%” gradient remaining.

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Garmin tracked this down to some bad data in the mapset itself, and has filed a bug to their map data team to fix this. Why this impacted only ClimbPro free-ride mode and not ClimbPro course-mode I don’t know, but hopefully nobody else gets 105% gradients.

Either way, overall I’m pretty happy with the free-ride mode, but it’s also clear it’s early days for it. Like with Hammerhead when they launched their free-ride mode, Garmin too says they expect to be tweaking it over the coming months as they get feedback from users. Which is actually exactly what they did when they launched ClimbPro the first time around years ago – over the first few months things changed a bit in terms of what triggered climbs and how they triggered.

So finally, what about reaction time of the gradient display itself? Meaning, set aside ClimbPro – and focus just on how fast the unit responds to gradient changes. To be really clear here (cause there’s a lot of confusion), this is *100% totally separate from ClimbPro* – the two have literally nothing to do with each other. ClimbPro is all about showing expected gradient based on known map data as you ride it. Whereas the internal sensors are responsible for showing the current gradient, and how fast it responds to situations.

A common complaint of the Edge 1040 is that it’s historically responded too slowly for some tastes, namely in sharper/steeper climbs. I actually did an entire video/post on it a year ago. In that video, I basically found that there are cases where it’s slower than their competitors, but also cases where the inverse was true. And further, as noted above, if you did take into account ClimbPro or Hammerhead’s CLIMBER, then those instant gradient differences were mostly moot when looking at ClimbPro.

Nonetheless, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of effort and time trying to document the differences between these units: Garmin Edge 540/840/1040, Hammerhead Karoo 2, and Wahoo ROAM V2. Basically, doing side-by-side rides of both long-term/slow climbs, but also fast/sharp/steep climbs, with cameras and screen recording going. You can see a tidbit of this in my main review video, with a longer breakout video to come.

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The long and the short of it though is that the Edge 540/840 seem to act slightly faster than the Edge 1040 in some cases, but about the same in others. In relation to the Karoo 2 and ROAM 2, the Karoo 2 is by far the fastest responding gradient changer. In 90% of those cases, it gets it correct far faster, but every once in a while it’ll be suspectable to some wonky gradient response that doesn’t align to reality. The Wahoo ROAM V2 is sorta the middle-ground, generally neither super-fast nor super-slow. Just sorta middle-bear.

Then you’ve got the Edge units. In cases of more normal climbs, you’re almost never going to notice the differences between all of these units (compared to Karoo/Wahoo), they all slowly increase to match the slowly increasing gradient. However, in short/steep climbs where the road bucks upwards and you swear a bunch, you’ll typically see about 5-10 seconds of lag on the Garmin units. There’s some speculation that this is because Garmin has a 15-second weighted smoothing average in place, likely to reduce errors from things like vibrations or even wind (in fact, I saw some of this impact the Karoo 2’s and Wahoo ROAM’s normally faster responsiveness on a recent ride on cobblestones). This somewhat evens out in that as you flatten back out, it’s still showing higher gradients because of that lag.

But yeah, if you are frequently riding roads that are basically yelling FU at you, then you might carry that forward to the Garmin Edge series when it shows 0% and you’re actually at 20%. For better or worse, I don’t have any of those roads anywhere around me, perhaps not even in this entire country. I had to travel to Belgium and Mallorca over the past few weeks to find some of those. All of which is documented above.

Still, it’s important not to overthink some of these issues. While there are vocal critics of Garmin’s gradient responsiveness, the overwhelming majority of people don’t seem to notice/care. Make of that what you want. Would I like it to be faster? Of course. If I had to balance faster responsiveness for brief FU climb gradient changes (Karoo 2) versus more accurate ClimbPro data (Garmin), I’m going to choose the more accurate ClimbPro data every time, since that’s the thing I’m actually looking at for the next 15-75 minutes of climbing. But to each their own – maybe some day we’ll get both.

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This section is all about navigating with the Edge unit, and the built-in maps. To begin, the Edge 540/840/1040 all come with pre-loaded maps, as well as the ability to download cycle-specific maps for free. The main difference between those units is how much storage space you have, and if extra regions are pre-loaded. The Edge 540 comes with 16GB, the Edge 840 with 32GB, and the Edge 1040 with 64GB. But functionality-wise, all three units are identical map data-wise (except for address search I’ll talk about in a second).

Now, it’s important to note that with the Edge 540/840/1040 getting the new ClimbPro free-ride functionality, the map sizes have exploded. I mean, almost doubled in size. The real-world ramification of that is previously with a 16GB Edge device, you could fit both the US and some chunk of Europe on it. Now, it’s one or the other, hence why the 32GB of the Edge 840 is more useful if you frequently travel.

Just for context, here’s a look at the European map set sizes now (previously this was about 7-8GB):

  1. The core cycle map pieces: Roughly 7GB
  2. The ClimbPro pieces: Roughly 6GB for Europe Central+West

Plus atop that there’s a small map for Trailforks, of roughly another few hundred MB. I think it’s probably going to be time for Garmin to re-think how they do map downloads on the Edge series. First off, you still have to connect it to your computer. Whereas Wahoo & Hammerhead allow WiFi downloads of maps (Garmin allows WiFi downloads on their wearables for maps). Second, and most notable, Garmin only allows massive region downloads (e.g. all of North America), rather than per-country downloads.

I think having massive regions is great if you have the storage space, but practically speaking, it’s also a huge strain to download a map update that’s now 14GB in size. Or to download that last minute when travelling. Whereas the other companies allow you to pick a given country in most cases, or states in others. I get Garmin’s desire to sell-up a higher unit here with more storage, but with the new much larger map sizes, this starts to migrate from ‘annoying’ to ‘pain in the ass’, depending on how often you travel.

Map data aside, one minor but notable difference on the Edge 840/1040 compared to the Edge 540, is that it allows you to search for a specific street address. Garmin (probably rightly) assumes that it’s too much of a pain to type out a full address with buttons, so this feature isn’t offered on the Edge 540.

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That said, frankly, outside of demonstrating how the feature works, I’ve simply never had a reason to type in an exact address on a bike computer. Like…ever. It’s just too cumbersome. However, one nifty feature here is that you can use your phone to type in things now. So if Garmin Connect is on your phone, it’ll prompt you to enter the text using your phone keyboard instead if you want, which is usually much faster for people. However, this seems kinda random as to when it appears. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

As with the Edge 1040, Garmin revamped the POI database, making it easier to find bike-specific things now. So you’ll see stuff like bike shops, water stops, restrooms, coffee shops, and more. You can still search for all the other stuff like restaurants, hotels, transpiration, etc…. but Garmin has prioritized things you actually want to find on a ride.

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You can also use this menu region to simply browse a map. For example, you decide to abandon your ride into the mountains and instead just want to go sit on a beach and eat ice cream. Sure, you could use the café/restaurant option to find an ice cream shop, but it’s just gonna be easier to look at the map and tap the beach and then choose to get directions to it.

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In most cases though, you’re probably going to follow a course or pre-planned route. You can create courses umpteen number of ways, from on Garmin Connect itself (even on the unit itself), to 3rd party sites like Strava or Komoot, or by loading GPX/TCX/FIT files you downloaded somewhere. You can even re-ride past activities. The world is your oyster here, but that oyster eventually puts you on this menu where you choose a course:

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Most of these are either Strava or Komoot courses, which automatically sync to Garmin Connect and then to the Edge 540/840 the second I hit save. It’s super efficient.

Once selected, you’ll see stats about the course, including an overview of the elevation and any climbs via ClimbPro:

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At this point, you can tap to ride the course, which starts your navigating (once you press start on the activity). You’ll get notified as you approach a turn, no matter which data page you’re on:

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Certainly, you can just stay on the map screen if you want to, but that limits your data field options, and also burns more battery. Instead, a mini-map will overlap over the top of the data page you’re on, with the turn information about 150m before the turn.

In the event you go off-course, you’ll get a banner offering you two basic options: Pause navigation, or Re-Route. If you ignore it, it’ll automatically re-route for you, rejoining the route where it makes sense. In cases where no obvious re-join exists, it’ll have you backtrack accordingly. You can actually change this behavior if you want. There’s a myriad of settings you never knew existed deep in the Activity Profiles > Profile > Navigation > Routing > Route Recalculation and Course Recalculation options.

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I haven’t had any problems with any of this. As with the Edge 1040, this new layout just works a lot better, especially the pause navigation option. The idea being that if you’re just going a few hundred meters to that ice cream shack by the beach, you don’t need your bike GPS incessantly beeping at you that you’ve screwed up. Then, once you get back on course you can resume navigation. Easy-peasy.

You can literally see a great example of this here, of me actually taking a photo mid-ride slightly off-course, and it pausing by itself to see what I want to do:

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In terms of the actual routing/re-routing, again, no issues with me going off-course in three different countries now, it all gracefully did what I expected. Even here in Amsterdam in one of the most bike-lane/road-dense locations on planet earth, it handles all of this without issue (something that can still challenge other companies, or some of Garmin’s older devices).

Same goes for initial route ‘Calculation’, or any immediate re-routing. That now happens pretty much instantly (like the Edge 1040), but that’s also a little bit of changing what’s displayed to you. On older Garmin devices, it’d actually calculate the entire route in front of you. You never had to wait for it, but people assumed you did. It calculates it in order of the route itself, so in reality you could never pedal faster than it could figure out the route – even if it took a few minutes to sort out a 100KM route. Now, most of that re-calculation happens behind the scenes (like their competitors do). There’s no reason to show you something that’s not going to come up until hours later in the ride.

Now, one area I’d like to see improved is just how courses are organized. I think across all companies, including Garmin, this is just getting messier and messier. With more and more services automatically pushing routes to your device, it becomes cluttered with routes (and copies of routes due to creating duplicates for things like PowerGuide or making a Strava route Public on Garmin Connect). I’d really like to see some attempt at a folder structure here, either automatic or one that I could manually create and is synced with Garmin Connect. I’m not saying I have a clear solution here, but I think it’s fair to say that simply sorting an ever-growing and duplicate course listing isn’t really cutting it anymore.

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For example, I’d love to have it automatically folderize routes that start within 5KM of where I am now, and then by distance. Sure, you can sort by nearness to you, or by distance, but not both. Thus, I’ve got routes from Australia or South Africa showing up in the mix when I don’t care about those now.

But that’s a relatively minor nit in the grand scheme of things. Overall, Garmin is well known for their navigation, and the Edge 540/840 continues the trend the Edge 1040 set, making it the leader in terms of on-bike navigation options. While the Hammerhead Karoo 2 has a prettier display for said maps, Garmin’s feature set is far wider in terms of navigation features. As always, whether or not you use those features is a different question.

Structured Training & Power Guide:

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Many of the new features to the Edge 540 & Edge 840 are within the realm of structured training, or at a minimum Training Load & Recovery. Some of these are center-stage, like Acute Load, and some of them are more tangential, like the ability to see a profile of you as a rider. Either way, I’m bundling them all into this section. Additionally, all of these things have previously launched on the Edge 1040, save the new Training Plan bits.

Beyond these, there are aspects like the new Power Guide (also launched on the Edge 1040), as well as the long-existing structured workouts option, including the ability to ride workouts from 3rd party entities like TrainingPeaks, TrainerRoad, and countless more.

First up are the newer stats pieces, which are all under the section called ‘My Stats’ on the unit. Alternatively, you can add them as widgets, like I have, for quick glancing. If you have a Garmin, these will (or should anyways), be in sync.

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Next up is Training Status, which is comprised of both VO2Max and Acute Load. Of course, my VO2max has been solidly broken on the Garmin platform since last November, and hasn’t changed since then despite both a massive increase in volume since early January, and a substantial increase in FTP. Next is the Acute Load. This load is looking at your last 7 days of training volume, and will show non-cycling workouts on the Garmin platform as well (including ones from Zwift/TrainerRoad/Tacx).

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The singular challenge with my VO2Max value being stuck/broken, is that since it’s not rising, it’s very challenging for me to get anything other than ‘Maintaining’ as my training status (such as ‘Productive’). On the flip side, I use Acute Load as arguably the single most important number I look at in terms of training load, as it allows me to roughly baseline my total volume. The green section is my normal training load, called the ‘Tunnel’.

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Next there’s Exercise Load. This is basically a way of looking at the breakdown of your training load for the past 7 days, in terms of categorization:

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Likewise you’ve got Load focus. This is simply looking at a 28-day variant of the previous 7-day Exercise Load chart.

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After that, there’s Cycling Ability. This came with the Edge 1040, and gives you scores for each category. The idea here is that from there it can look at any course you load up (e.g., Alpe d’Huez) and tell you whether or not you’ll do well on that course. It’s effectively a way to match your skills to a given course.

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You can see this here for the Sa Calobra course:

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And, if you’re lucky enough to have gone somewhere warm (or high in altitude), you’ll get either heat or altitude acclimation:

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There’s also a few other metrics shown, including Recovery Time. This is pretty self-explanatory. The reason this value is this high is I just did a beast of an interval (run) workout this morning, accompanied by a big week in training, as well as another ride this afternoon.

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Finally, there’s FTP. In my case, I had set a manual FTP initially, but then let it auto-detect from there:

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You can also see metrics like Fitness Age, Intensity Minutes, Stress Score, and more – all buried in the menus that you might not ever see. But, let’s move along to Power Guide.

Power Guide is basically going to define a specific power pacing plan, for a specific loaded course. It’s vaguely like Best Bike Split, except not nearly as advanced (BBS takes into account things like aerodynamic properties, wind, etc…). The idea though being you can essentially predict a specific finish time on a specific course, based on your chosen intensity level. The easiest way to start this process is by first having a course loaded in Garmin Connect, and then going into the Power Guide option and selecting said course. From there you can adjust the intensity slider, which changes the estimated finish time, as well as all of the split components seen down below.

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Garmin divides up these sections based exclusively on gradient. Meaning, here in Amsterdam, when I use Power Guide, it’s basically useless because it’s one giant pancake and one giant segment. Versus using it in Belgium on that super hilly course, it’s constantly targeting different power values for both ups and downs, as well as the flats.

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Once you’re on the bike, you’ll load up the course first, and then see the option for the Power Guide for that course. At which point you’ll see the targets for each section/split, as well as overall goal against targets. In my case I generally beat each split section, but my overall averages were impacted (lower) because of my desire to take photos of llamas, cobblestones, and pubs. Things I don’t usually do on a race itself.

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It’s a cool concept, and is a good way for most people to pace using a power meter (which is required) without having to spend for a coach. Meaning, if you had a canned/semi-canned training plan, you might not actually have a good idea on the race side. This can fill that gap a bit by letting you adjust the slider pre-race to see estimated finish times. Additionally, if the race starts falling apart (or, you feel it’s waaaay too easy), you can adjust the slider/intensity mid-ride too.

Now, if you want to use Garmin for your entire training plan, the Edge 540/840 now have the ability to create an entire training plan for your specific race. The Edge 1040 gained this ability last fall to a degree, but it’s been more fully implemented over the last few months atop changes in Unified Training Status, accounting for things like sleep and other training load factors.

You’ll create your specific event on Garmin Connect, including uploading/specifying the exact course, date, and time. Using that information, it’ll create a specific training plan for that event.

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The unit will create a periodized structure, including a base, build, peak, and taper phase.

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Then each day it’ll give you a specific structured workout to do. If your sleep is too low, it’ll trigger a rest day or other easier workout instead. And you can adjust parameters like your long ride day as well.

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Finally, you may alternatively be using structured training from either Garmin Connect or other 3rd party services/platforms (e.g., Today’s Plan, TrainerRoad, TrainingPeaks, etc…). All of those sync automatically to your Edge, and will show your planned workout on your Edge device.

Once I head outside, it’ll show me the steps for that as I go along. Here’s one from last week or so, with a set of intervals, showing me my power targets and current status for each of those intervals.

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None of this has changed anytime in recent years, it’s all basically the same – and all works pretty well for both myself as well as plenty of others who have used this functionality over the years.

Solar Power:

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Now there are two versions of the Edge 840 – one with solar panels (Edge 840 Solar), and one without (Edge 840). This section is entirely focused on the solar variant, given the title you see just above the pretty picture. The general theory with the Edge 840 Solar is that it’s going to accumulate solar time while you’re riding, as well as just hanging out in the sun not-riding.

Starting with the solar panel itself, it’s divided into basically two portions. 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 through it, so it’s essentially invisible to you. That’s what Garmin calls ‘Solar Glass’, because it’s actually glass.

As one of the data pages while riding, you’ve got a dedicated page for monitoring your solar progress, showing time gained in minutes:seconds, plus a little graph of your solar power:

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After you’re riding you’ll see the same thing in some of the summary screens, showing your ride totals. Here’s one from a 3 hour sunny ride in Belgium (below), which matched almost exactly the gains from a different 4hr 21min ride in Mallorca (in the sun) where I also gained 26 minutes.

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And then inversely, here’s a dark/overcast late afternoon day in Amsterdam, where after riding for 1hr 40 mins, I gained a whopping 2 mins and 54 seconds:

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This is also shown in Garmin Connect too, if you want to see total ride time gained during the day. One important thing to remember though, is that you’re still burning battery. 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. So it’s less about a hot day, and more just about direct sun.

So what happens when not riding? Well, let’s dig into that. If you tap the upper left button, you can choose to go to sleep or power off. When you press the sleep button, it shows the current solar intensity and current battery life. Here’s me putting it (and the other Solar units) to sleep in the Netherland’s April sun for a few hours.

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I came back 3 hours later, in this case about 2 hours of that was mostly unbroken clouds (1:56pm till 4:59pm). The remaining hour was high/thin clouds. In total, here’s what it showed:

Garmin Edge 540 Solar: 39% to 42%
Garmin Edge 840 Solar: 79% to 79%
Garmin Edge 1040 Solar: 97% to 97%

Then again two days later, from 1:15PM till 4:08PM in strong direct afternoon sun – apparently gaining almost nothing. I have no idea why one unit above/below gains one day, and the other not. And vice versa. I would say having the Edge 1040 in the upper 90’s may impact charging, since most devices tend to slow-down charging rates above 90%, but I have no idea here.

Garmin Edge 540 Solar: 75% to 75%
Garmin Edge 840 Solar: 74% to 75%
Garmin Edge 1040 Solar: 89% to 89%

For the times where I’d I’d gain a couple percent, that does basically translate to about 1-2%/hour riding time. Meaning, if you leave it there an entire day, you could easily get a few hours of actual riding time.

Note that on the Edge 1040 Solar, there is/was a threshold where really hot days (like summer days), if you left it in the sun when not riding (e.g., on a table) it’d overheat and not solar charge anymore (to be excruciating clear: This only impacts solar charging when it overheats, not operation of the unit, further, this virtually never happens while riding due to the cooling effect of your bike speed). Unfortunately, being April right now, I haven’t had any of those hot days to test the 540 Solar or 840 Solar for the same thing.

The point being that in theory you could leave your Edge unit by the window in sleep mode and gain battery time the other 8-10 hours of the day it’s sunny out, and theoretically never have to charge your unit. In practice though, I’ve found that a bit tricky. Also, in reality, you could just plug it in for like 5 minutes and get the same as a day of solar. But hey, if you’re doing some crazy bike-across-Africa challenge, then sometimes every little bit matters.

Accuracy:

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Now, I’m gonna save you a bunch of time – GPS accuracy is basically perfect here. There’s literally nothing of concern in all the riding I’ve done, including in the mountains, through rock canyons, cities, and more. This mirrors what we’ve seen on the Edge 1040 since it launched last summer with multiband GNSS. Like that unit, both the Edge 540 & Edge 840 mirror it in performance, and also slightly best the competition – both the Hammerhead Karoo 2 (no multiband), and the Wahoo ROAM 2 (multiband). It’s usually very very minor differences, but you can see it here and there with just slight cutting of corners by Wahoo/Hammerhead on occasion.

Getting right into things, here’s my ride in Mallorca over Sa Calobra. This includes essentially a day of twisty/turny roads etched into the mountainsides. On the whole it’s a challenging, though not horrific, GPS environment. There are some horrifically challenging spots within it though.

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As we look at some of the initial sections getting to Sa Calobra, you can see it’s exactly on the roadway, with only a tiny bit of offset activity by the Wahoo ROAM V2 here and there.

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Even on this fast section of mountain switchbacks, virtually all the units remain on the roadway.

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Here’s an aerial photo of this next section, to set the stage:

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And then here’s the GPS tracks from that section, which are basically immaculate, including the loop.

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And then later on, we’ve got this famed section where you slide between two rocks that are seemingly collapsing towards each other:

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As you can see, the GPS is only different between the units by just a couple meters (note the scale):

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Next, we’ve got a ride in Belgium as I bounced around the cobbled classics for a number of hours, this is relatively easy GPS conditions in the grand scheme of life, though, sometimes easy can still be challenging. However, I was actually more interested in the elevation accuracy here. More on that in a second. First, the GPS side of the house:

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If we look at famed cobbled climbs like the Koppenburg, it’s identical across all units:

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So then we try something more tricky, going under a railroad, to see if there’s any crazy wonk in the tunnel. Nope, essentially a wash (maybe a smidge bit of an extra meter or two on some tracks, but nothing to get upset about):

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Even going around this roundabout in town, it correctly nailed the track – under a railroad mind you, where I took the inside curve:

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As for elevation? All within +/- 3 meters of each other the entire time. The Karoo 2 oddly lost the plot about an hour in, for no clear reason. It was totally part of the gang, and then it became an offset outcast for the remainder of the time. I don’t remember seeing that elsewhere, so…ok. I guess I did something to offend it.

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Next, we’ll wrap up with another boring iteration in the GPS plots. This time here in Amsterdam:

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Starting off in a section with some tall buildings on both sides. No issues from the Garmin, though a slight blip from the Karoo 2:

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But looking at various twists and turns, including in some towns showed no problems:

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Or again out in the middle of nowhere:

AmsterdamGPS4

Look, I could keep creating charts – and maybe I will when I’m sufficiently bored with nothing else to do. But all the charts and all the data plots I’ve looked at are virtually identical/perfect. We might finally be arriving at the point where for cycling GPS units, it’s going to be harder and harder to find GPS faults. Don’t worry though, running GPS still seems to be more challenging.

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

Wrap-Up:

Garmin-Edge840-Solar

The Edge 840 delivers on what people want: An Edge 1040 in a smaller package. It’s got an identical feature-set to the larger-screened Edge 1040, and in fact, is arguably a more usable device, since it has the full complement of buttons the Edge 1040 lacks. The only differences between the two units are size/battery/screen. That’s it.

However, more critically, the Garmin Edge series finally delivers what many have been asking for: ClimbPro without a route/course loaded. On the whole, it’s very good. It correctly illustrates the climb as I approach it, and the calculates the pain and suffering till the top. Is it perfect? No, it doesn’t read your mind, yet. It generally gets it right, but every once in a while it just doesn’t guess right. I suspect we’ll see them continue to tweak some of these mind-reading gaps, based on user feedback.

The remainder of the features all are aimed at filling in the Garmin ecosystem. Things like Stamina to match the wearable side, and Training Status 2.0 to go along with that. Having Power Guide for pacing is legit useful. I could quite conceivably see using it for some races later this spring. And the rest of the core Garmin features you’ve had for years works as before, just a touch bit prettier now (and faster). Inversely, Garmin does need to sort out their map download situation. They’ve built a bit of a behemoth here with all the new map data in the unit, and for those that travel frequently (or even update the maps frequently), the annoyance will grow. I don’t think this is a ‘today’ problem, but a ‘by next year’ type of problem.

Up till now, I’ve long recommended people buy the cheaper of the two mainstream Edge units, meaning buy the Edge 510/520/530 series instead of the Edge 810/820/830 series. This was largely because the Edge 8xx series lacked the majority of the buttons when you wanted them, and also lacked a compelling use-case for a touch screen. But with the Edge 840, my recommendation is finally changing: Buy the Edge 840 over the Edge 540.

Now, this isn’t because the Edge 840 is magically more awesome than the Edge 540. But rather, because I’ve just found the button interaction on the Edge 540 oddly cumbersome with the new user interface. Specifically, when doing anything that requires diving back to the main/settings/features homepage menu mid-ride. On the Edge 840 it’s a split-second swipe-down or tap. On the Edge 540, it’s an entire set of dance steps of long-button presses, a bunch of ups/downs, changing button sides, and more. All while not trying to crash.

As for solar? Honestly, I wouldn’t spend the extra for it unless you ride in sunny weather all the time and need every last bit of juice. In most cases, you’d be able to charge the Edge 840 with the same amount of solar power from a 4-hour ride, in a mere 1-2 minutes via USB-C. I wouldn’t call it a gimmick, but rather, it’s just something only useful for a very small sliver of the population – at best. The good news is, that saves you money to spend on ice cream or something. And ultimately, at this point, the Edge 840 is clearly the cycling computer to try and beat. Well…minus the larger Edge 1040, of course.

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 840 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 shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

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.

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...).

This wifi-connected scale will track your weight and related metrics both on the scale display and in Garmin Connect (plus 3rd party apps like TrainingPeaks). It'll also then sync your weight to your watch/bike computer, to ensure accurate calorie data.

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 Plus is Garmin's top-end chest strap. It transmits dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but also transmits Running Dynamics & Running Pace/Distance 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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448 Comments

  1. TS

    Thanks for this Ray! Does the 840’s Livetrack include the Spectator Messaging feature that the 1040 added?

    • Yup it does. Good point, just added it to the sprawling list (and also just double-checked that it does on the unit).

    • TS

      Awesome news! Thanks Ray.

    • SvdW

      Hi Ray, I put The Girl on the email for Livetrack incl. Spectator Messages and she gets the link every time I start my ride and she can follow me, but when she sent messages, they only arrive after the ride when it’s charging. While I have my iPhone 14 Pro with T-Mobile on 5G with me all the time, receiving Whatsapp-messages, email, etc. Do you have more test-results about the Spectator Messaging? Or do you happen to know a trick to get it working?

  2. Hexafluoroplatinate

    Hey Ray.

    Garmin’s product comparator suggests the 840 lacks a few things from the 1040 but their own charts often have errors. (marketing team not technical, I imagine)

    Table: link to buy.garmin.com

    (click “Show Only Differences”)

    Can you comment on these:

    * 1040 has “Unified Training Status” where others don’t appear to (I would have expected this to be on the 840)

    * 1040 has “On-device course creator & location search”, 540 and 840 don’t. I’d have expected the 840 at least to have those.

    • Unified messaging is on 540/840 – it’s actually a core/major feature for how the training plans work.

      And the 840 has on-device course creator & location search, the 540 doesn’t due to the touch bits. Though that exact line-item is frankly badly worded. You can actually do both on the Edge 540 just fine.

      On the Edge 540 it’ll even auto-prompt to use your phone for the location search box (I’ll show it in my 540 review), and on the course creator, you can always tell it to create a course to somewhere, but the definition of ‘Course creator’ is kinda weird honestly in what Garmin is referring to, which is to a specific address.

    • Hexafluoroplatinate

      So, the 840 is quite literally: “a smaller 1040 with added buttons.” (minus some memory, smaller battery, and the Solar package doesn’t include the extra mount or bumper case of the 1040 Solar)

      If that’s the case, the 840 is really compelling, if someone doesn’t want a large computer. (1040 is kind of a behemoth)

    • Yup, exactly. Garmin confirmed that once the 1040 gets the new 540/840 features, software-wise they’ll be identical (840 vs 1040).

    • Jeroen

      this is a slight detail missing in the body right now (but can be inferred from the rest):
      “The only differences between the two units are size/battery/screen”
      should add weight (+44g 1040), memory (32 vs 64), buttons(only 840).

  3. LittleSaul

    Thanks for the review. Right now 840 and 1040 cost the same in Europe. So go for the 1040 because of the bigger screen?

  4. Stano

    Hey Ray, can you provide little update/comparison on what you get on 840 vs Explore 2 in features? Many thanks.

    • GREGORY

      I mean come on Garmin… Just partner with Google or something and get better maps and screen experience. My pixel watch does a better job showing maps and routes than this thing, especially when just roaming around or trying to find where you are.

      You don’t buy this size of a unit for the data screens. I was really hoping for something next level.

    • Cool Guy

      The Explore 2 has a slightly larger screen (3.0 inch vs 2.6 inch). The 840 has all the features of the Explore 2, along with better battery life (by 10 or more hours), more memory, more buttons, more sensors, wifi connectivity, multi-band GNSS, Di2 integration, and all the training features. The 840 and 540 also include an out-front mount in the box, and the power pins for the power mount or battery pack. You only get those on the Explore 2 if you buy the power bundle.

      The 540 lacks a touch screen and the on-device address search, which are features of the Explore 2. Aside from memory capacity, the 540 has all the other benefits I listed for the 840.

      If you want a navigational aid and ride tracker, don’t do structured training, and want to pay a little less, the Explore 2 is a great unit. However, the 540 and 840 are more capable. If you ever plan to train for an event, you’d benefit from having one of these units over the Explore 2.

    • Miloš Matůš

      But you miss the buttons on 1040 only – they are handy in rain and during winter using gloves.

  5. Marty

    Free ride ClimbPro coming to 1030 Plus??

    • bederi

      Looks to me that free ride ClimbPro appeared on my 530 with the last upgrade yesterday.

    • Marty

      I’m scared to try and update with the GC issues on Windows!

    • There’s no plans for free-ride ClimbPro on the Edge x30 series.

    • Pavel Vishniakov

      Given the memory requirements it’s understandable, but also sad.

      On the other hand – I’m not Ray, so if I’m riding climbs, I’m following a route (because otherwise I have no idea where am I riding) and those still work. Plus – route-based ClimbPro, as I learned in January, works even in places with no Garmin routing available as long as you create the route beforehand and load it onto the unit

    • Peter Z.

      So I was going to ask about ClimbPro on routes, whether it takes special effort to add the climb information. You are saying the Garmin or app will figure it out simply from the basic route? I think I may not have many climbs that meet the criteria he described and that’s why I’m not seeing it show up.

    • Paul S.

      No special effort. You load a course to navigate, and the unit (in my case an 830 until very recently, now a 1040) figures out where the climbs are along the course using its onboard digital elevation map. It may not be exactly as you would split a ride into climbs, but it does work. You have some control over the criteria it uses in one of the settings. If there are no climbs that meet the criteria, you don’t even see a ClimbPro page.

    • Rixter

      Woot. I’ll have to upgrade my 530

  6. Heiko

    Same screen size with huge bezels is disappointing for 2023. I understand they focused on battery life but 530 was (for me) already plenty and I doubt .2 inches would have many hours.

  7. Chris

    Hey Ray, two quick questions about the form factor and the case:
    Has Garmin finally improved the barometer? In the past, the barometer on my units tended to ‘drown’, i.e. altitude readings would be completely off as water would clog the barometer holes in the unit – Wahoo seemed to have a more reliable / protected barometer setup as they still managed to read air pressure changes fine despite road spray etc. (BTW, seems to be pretty much a problem limited to out-front mounts, not an issue on the stem apparently).

    In terms of size, the units seem to grow in ‘width’ (if that makes sense) – does the size also increase in ‘depth’? Asking because of the position on the mount and accessibility of the buttons on the bottom of the unit when mounted on a K-Edge for example.

    Thank you very much!

  8. Paul S.

    “The only notable exception being you have to use a physical button to start/stop a ride.” And that’s the reason that I had to replace my 830 by a 1040 last month. The start/stop button on the 830 became increasingly balky.
    For the last few rides with it, it was dismount, remove the 830 from the mount, start fiddling with the button for about a minute until it finally registered that I wanted to end the ride. Start was no problem, since I just switched to auto-start. There really should be a on-screen way of ending an activity (buried, of course, you don’t want to accidentally do it).

    Of course, now I’m spoiled by the larger 1040 screen, so I’ll probably never go back to the 800 series.

  9. Volker

    Great review so far, but I need more time for reading it thorough.
    One question: do you think we will see the climbPro free riding feature also on some Garmin wearables soon?

    • Not sure there, but I’d love to see it.

      One thing that’d be a challenge is the map size. Basically, it doubles the map size for cycling along (roads/gravel/MTB). There are a gazillion more possible pedestrian trails.

      Obviously not a total blocker, but going to require a heck of a lot more space.

    • Volker

      The F7x has 32 gb, but I think the process power seems to be a bigger problem on the wearables?

    • Christian Köhler

      You allready mentioned the solution: Allow map downloads for single countries instead of continents.

      Many people would be more than happy if the watch had enough space for very detailed maps of two countries: The country they live in and the country they are going to travel to.

      People who really take adventures across multiple countries more than once in a lifetime on the other hand are probably fine with paying more for a premium device with 200 GB (or whatever it takes).

  10. Mark Mingelgreen

    Ray, is the free ride Climb Pro on the 1040?

  11. Miguel

    These are listed as having unified training status in some vendors, but on garmin website says they do not have it. Do you have any info if these units have it or not?

  12. Peter

    Hi Ray, have you tried to upload a new course during activity? It can’t be done on 830.
    And also, do you have any information whether some of the functions/UI would be backported on x30 devices (at least free-ride ClimbPro)?

    • David

      There’s a way to force a new course upload during an activity, but it’s a bit convoluted and not documented. You need to pause the activity, upload the route from your phone, and then restart the Edge. It’ll come back as you left it mid-activity, but the new route will be there.

    • You actually don’t need to do that anymore on the x40 devices. You can send a course instantly at any time.

      No plans for backporting to x30.

    • Thomas

      @David: Huh, I have to try that… that limitation was a bit annoying from time to time.

      And if that’s gone, that might be a reason to upgrade from my 530 to an 840 at some point in time… maybe.

  13. B-1 Pilot

    Same garbage screen makes it a non starter. Most new features are meh. Went to a hammerhead on a lark when my 830 went missing, and no looking back.

    Garmin needs to add add OLED or something compelling for me to consider another cycling head unit from them. Sadly Garmins beat cycling unit is the one on my wrist.

  14. David

    Hi Ray. Thanks for the great review (as always). Was waiting for this but a fairly major deal-breaker is the borked Strava segments. Is it really the case that it’s changed so that you only get Strava segments if you’re navigating a route created on Strava?

    Strava route generation is awful compared to others, and sometimes I just like to ride without any route loaded. The Edge 830 just syncs starred segments via Garmin Connect, so it’s surprising that the 840 can’t do the same.

    • Sadly, still the case.

    • Mike

      Oof, that sucks. All I want is to do a free ride that has ClimbPro and Strava Live Segments.

    • Onno

      Strava segments should work in free rides I think (they do on my 530), they only don’t work when following a route that wasn’t created/synchronized by Strava.

    • Sorry, just to clarify – Strava Live Segments work anytime, just not with a non-Strava course loaded. Meaning, they work in freeride + ClimbPro (free-ride), and they work. And, they work if you’ve got a Strava Route loaded (since they’re baked in). But, if you ride a Komoot course, then not so much. 🙁

    • LesMc

      Funny…and frustrating in that I’ve never gotten Strava Live Segments (SLS) to work on my 530 while following a course created on Strava since I bought the 530 4 years ago, I’ve tried every conceivable combination of steps, reloaded, reset, resynced, etc., to no avail. I could write my own in-depth review of my effort that might just make Ray proud. I have given up on Garmin as being able to support this reliably.

      The only other feature I really want on my 530 is support for overlapping or nested SLS. The other major head units support this, not sure why Garmin has never seen fit to add this. Ah well, it’s nice to be king I guess.

  15. ML

    Will the new ClimbPro make it to the Fenix / Epix?

  16. usr

    Really surprised they used the 16/32 GB distinction for offsetting the 840 from the 540, instead of offsetting the solars from the non-solars. Makes the solar options even more gimmicky than I the 1040.

  17. Francisco Migoya

    Is the Varia Radar support comming??

  18. Denis

    But why don’t they implement the possibility of loading new ones when the device is already on and started also on the edge series for bikes and not only on watches?

  19. Erlend

    My local vendor charges 560 for 840 Solar and 1040 solar is 660 (both with discount included). Considering that id be using the device for years to come, I don’t see any reason why i should go for 840 solar. Sure its 100 euros in price but in that category its marginal difference – large screen, extra battery life, some features and life cycle of 3…4 years at least. I even wonder if 840 is relevant at this point.

  20. Martin H.

    Very exhaustive review – as always, Ray.
    Love your dry humour about airline safety.
    Any news regarding vector 3 dynamics screen and aerodynamics integration – which were previously reserved to the 1030.

  21. Theo

    Thank you for testing the leave it in the sun part. I ride 3 time/week and I was hoping this would essentially make my device cordless. For me that would be a killer upgrade and I am saddened that it doesn’t.

  22. Peter Blair

    So very much evolution not revolution. Ray – do you get a sense that Garmin has spent any brainspace on solving for Fenix users? I don’t really feel like there’s anything compelling to go from my aging 1030 to any of these new units because all I really need is a screen to display data, with all of the heavy lifting done on my watch. I would love to see Garmin focus in on a “headless” head unit, that weighs less and lets you cast the actual data from your watch and then has amazing battery life. There is a huge degree of redundancy for Fenix users with all the head unit innovation now…

    • Pavel Vishniakov

      Agree. The more features are pushed into the wearables, the more obvious become the limitations of the external display mode

    • Andrew Lee

      Agree. If the explore had extended display mode I would have bought it already. If I end up getting a x40 it will mean delaying upgrading my Fenix, so Garmin isn’t going to make any more money from me by not having that feature on the explore.

  23. Thanks Ray, great review as usual 👍🏻

    Re the organisation of Courses. On all my devices: Fenix, Edge and Montana; once I’ve finished with a course on the device I most often delete it. Otherwise it could get very messy indeed on all of the devices. On the Fenix I always delete every single one (always walking / mountaineering for me). I can easily upload another if I want to.

    I organise all of my courses as GPX files somewhere else. Mostly iCloud so I can get hold of one from anywhere to anywhere: GPS, OSMaps app, UKMap app, etc. I also have a huge archive of stuff stored away in Garmin BaseCamp on the Mac. That seems abandoned now by Garmin, but it’s still working for now and is great for exporting sub-sets of routes to view all together somewhere else if need be. When this stops working I’ll probably just store the files in some kind of hierarchical filling structure.

    Strava is the place where this is needed more than anywhere I think…

    • spinnekopje

      I would check out the garmin explore app for the fenix and others
      Once you learn to use that app (it is getting better, but still not the best) you can quickly create collections of tracks/courses/routes/waypoints to load on the device or remove from it.
      I can’t think of the last time loading a course/waypoint on the device using another way.. deleting them from the device is just as easy (so be careful no tot delete what you want to keep).

  24. Władysław

    Nothing mentioned if screen readability is better now and can be compared with wahoo? If there still a problem with background reflections on display?

    • Jim

      I wonder about this too. My 830 is going on 4 years old and although it has been solid for my basic needs I find it difficult to read at times. When the sun is high and shining directly on it, it is fine. On clouding days when diffused light shines on it, it is perfectly readable. But on sunny days when the sun is lower in the sky like most of the winder months I find it unreadable on sunny days unless the backlight is turned on to at least the mid point. But that take a big toll on battery life. Also, mine has a dark band all around just inside the bezel that is very visible unless you are viewing it at exactly 90° to the screen.

  25. Tom

    With regard to race plan „You’ll create your specific event on Garmin Connect, including uploading/specifying the exact course, date, and time. Using that information, it’ll create a specific training plan for that event.“

    Does this cover triathlon and also suggest run and swim workouts during your plan?

    With regard to solar charging…does this only work in sleep mode and not in power off mode?

  26. Jeremy

    Hi Ray,
    Thanks for the review.
    Is it possible to sync a route to the Edge once the activity is already started? I’m pretty sure that during my days of 530, I wasn’t able to push a new route to the device once the activity was started, be it using a route from garmin connect or from strava.
    Typical scenario is me starting from home to a meeting point with friends, then maybe build a route there or sync a route built from one of my fellow riders.

  27. Bartosz

    I’ve got 820 – after 6 years I guess the battery life is very weak – on a colder day it lasts for one hour so riding with powerbanks is mandatory for me (to be clear – I bought it based on your review 😀).
    Should I consider switching to 840? I usually ride on flatlands but this climbpro seems a very nice feature.
    I wonder what’s your opinion on that.

  28. Peter

    Hi Ray. Is it worth upgrading from Edge 830 to 840 base model?

  29. Cheryl

    Do any of these 540/840 models have the metal quarter turn mount that the 1040 does? I’m sick of snapping off those plastic ones.

    • Hexafluoroplatinate

      Wait, is that a common problem?

      I could see it on the larger units (1030 – hence the switch to metal on the 1040) but I haven’t heard a lot of complaints about the 530/830 size units with broken tabs.

    • I actually asked about that a few days back. It doesn’t include metal plates, as all of Garmin’s testing shows it’s just not needed with a proper mount design for the size/weight of the 540/840. They noted that they’ve been actively working with mount makers to ensure that it’s the mount inner plate (typically replaceable) that fails first, if it needs to fail.

      All that said, on the Edge 540/840, the tab section is now easily replaceable with two screws – and available as an aftermarket part.

  30. GIV

    So.
    I have 820 and 1040 Solar.
    The only things that i would like to have on 820 us:
    – Better battery life
    – Climb pro
    The rest of the features for me are not important.
    The price of 840 is…..astonishing.
    It is higher than 1040 non-solar.
    As i read all the details, for me is not worth to change the 820.
    840 is super expensive and that money i can get 30% off a smart bike for example.
    Garmin do all things of abracadabra stuff but for me the single upgrade is battery life witch i guess is a good joke because on 820 they claim 15 hours but i get 4 to 6 hours is real life.

    • Mark

      Yeah I’m in agreement about price – crazy price hikes. I’m surprised it barely got a mention.

      The 530 has an RRP here in the UK of £265, and has been sold way below that (210-230) almost everywhere for ages now – and on every big sales day as low as £160-£170… so for the 540 to come bursting through the doors with a £350 price tag is pretty shocking,

      Thought there would come a point where people would say no, enough with the pricing… but judging by comments we’re in the minority who think that, as plenty are buzzing for this clearly, fair play to them!
      I had been looking forward to the 540 hoping it’d give me a compelling reason to upgrade from my Bolt v1 at long last (we all like new stuff sometimes, and the Bolt has just been stubbornly reliable and refuses to break), but it sounds like they’ve made the UI worse for the ‘cheap’ model to the point Ray now recommends the 840. So I guess I continue as is and see what they drop to on sale later in the year.

    • It’s a $50 price hike (across the board), from launch 4 years ago. But Garmin never raised prices during that period. It’s higher no doubt, and one could blame whatever reasons they want for that. Probably the reality that Garmin knows its by far the best unit in the market.

      However, one can’t really compare one-market pricing vs launch day pricing in Europe especially. It’s the wild-west. Give it a few months to see where non-MAP pricing lands in Europe.

      The Edge 530/830 are still great units. No doubt about that, and hold their water well from 4 years ago.

    • Mark

      Yeah like I say I will wait a few months and see what they cost on, I guess, Prime day. For this reader, £350 is far too much for a cycling head unit, but I know the market says it’s not too much for most – as Garmin certainly don’t seem to struggle to shift units!

    • Chris

      The 530 is £230 at Garmin UK or £161 if you’re eligible for student/NHS/corporate discount.

  31. Micael K

    Great review- thanks!

    Soooo…..my 830 map is pretty useless for me due to the combination of its screen size and my eyesight.

    Is the 840 screen better in any way than the 830 in terms of being able to see and interpret the map while riding?

    When weighing the difference between the 840 and 1040….what would be your deciding factor(s) in choosing between the two? I love that they included the buttons on the 840…wish they would have done the same on the 1040.

    Thanks in advance!

  32. Keith Robertson

    I hope some of the Apps get updated in good time… I use alphaHRV quite a lot! And a few others.

    link to apps.garmin.com

  33. Ptm

    Any word on whether the ClimbPro free-ride will come to the Explore 2 as it has the newer x40 series interface?

  34. Brett B

    Hey Ray –

    Any thoughts on the barometer specifically? I am on my fourth replacement Edge 830 from Garmin, all due to the same issue with the barometer. At some point, the barometer begins to read completely off, often by thousands of feet on the ride (it will note an uphill grade of 15% is a -5% grade as well, for example, while riding). Each time I have tried a variety of hacks, but it never resolves once it begins. I then call Garmin warranty service, and they validate that the data is off, and send out a new unit.

    I appreciate their excellent support by replacing the unit each time, but find it frustrating. Is this a concern you have heard about or encountered? I would suspect it is affecting a bit insignificant number of devices.

  35. David E.

    Good night, Wahoo. Buying a Roam v2 for $400 over a 840 base model for $450 seems like a *very* tough proposition.

  36. Pendant

    suspectable should be susceptible?

  37. Michal

    Almost got excited the saw then prices.

  38. Volker

    Does the 840 has DEM calibration and does it work? Has never worked since release on the 1040 and Garmin seems not to be able or willed to fix it.

  39. Tim

    Did you do an article or describe how you got such good screenshots of the computer screens overlayed on the images?

  40. Poiresportif

    Thx for the fantastic review (as usual). Currently have an 530 where the most frustrating issue is map accuracy. Using .fit files from ridewithgps, I have become hopelessly lost in multiple places where the 530 could not pickup the gsp signal and sent me into the dreaded “off course” loop no matter which direction I tried to find the course. I’m hoping that the “best accuracy” mode on the X40 series will decrease these situations. I’m also wondering whether it is possible to switch between the “battery saver gps” mode to “best accuracy” mode mid-ride or does one have to choose at the outset? Also, in your experience, what is the difference in battery loss between battery saver mode versus best accuracy mode on a 4-6 hr ride. Lastly, is the X540 series setup so that it can accommodate even higher density maps with greater accuracy in the future. I 2nd your idea about being able to download higher density maps that cover more limited areas. Thanks again for your outstanding review. I had been debating between the Karoo2 vs garmin but it seems that the new features plus better battery life put the X540 series out front.

  41. Ralph

    Great Review Thx so much.

    Does the new 540/840 still only allow 100 stared Strava Segment or has this capacity increased? This was very annoying in the previous 530/830 models, when you want to add more Segments to your Garmin.

  42. Pawel

    Thanks for the review. As an owner of a 530 and an 1040, I see that the map colors are washed out on the 1040 (non-solar), for example green is grayish and yellow is brownish. My device is not faulty, and I experimented a lot, uploading my custom maps which were basically RGB tests – the 1040 has issues with hue and color saturation. I checked different lighting conditions and brightness settings as well. My question would be: are the colors on 540 and/or 840 as vibrant as on 530, or as washed out as on the 1040?

    • Pawel

      I know it’s not scientific, but I think that this comparison for a very saturated map (on purpose) shows how on the 1040 all colors just fade to gray instead of becoming lighter. This means you can’t distinguish e.g. light yellow from light green, leading to poor map readability. I wonder if the 840 is like the 530 (good) or 1040 (bad). You can see the original map in the corner.

    • Michael Wang

      I ran into this exact issue when I had the 830 and the 1030 Plus. The 830 screen was much more vibrant and the 1030 Plus screen was washed out and looked like it was inferior quality. Sad to hear this is the same with the 1040. Can anyone else confirm this or refute this?

    • bigroots

      Good point. Given the little to none price difference between 840 and 1040, screen quality becomes a deciding factor

    • ekutter

      Looking at a 1040 solar and 840 solar side by side, what I’m noticing is at full back light, the 1040 is brighter, but the colors are slightly more washed out. Blacks are slightly grayer on the 1040. If I put the back light around 40% on the 1040 and 60% on the 840, they look very similar for colors and readability. So the 1040 just has more backlight range.

      If the two devices are the same price, I’d say it comes down to whether you prefer smaller device or bigger display, and whether you value the buttons. I must say, having both buttons and touch is pretty nice.

  43. Michal Jodlowski

    “3) The Edge 840 comes pre-loaded with two regions, the Edge 540 with one pre-loaded (but you can swap/download others after for free)”

    Wow, that is big for me – cycling in all strange places around the world, anywhere outside of europe i had to resort to OSM on my 530. And riding in unknown places really make you appreciate the Garmin heatmaps.
    Even if i have to load them off a PC every time, thats still a quite an important upgrade.
    Any idea how much space do those maps occupy, would be pain in the ass to remove Europe every time i want to load something else.

  44. Ontherivet

    Off topic-What handlebars do you use?

  45. Jonas

    The data-nerd in me wish to know if the solar intensity is stored in the .FIT files? I.e. Can I use the solar version as “how sunny was this ride” data for later?

  46. Another great review Ray, as we have come to expect and I hope your readers appreciate the huge amount of work that goes into them — I know I do!

    A couple of things: “Meaning, in every one of my tests my battery burn rate exceeded that of Garmin’s claims.” That sounds like the battery burn rate is worse than Garmin claims which is clearly not what you intended. Maybe “is better/lower than Garmin’s claims” is clearer?

    Also, any chance that the new set up via Connect app features will come to the 1030 Plus? I’ve spent hours getting mine set up as I want it on the device itself and it is a real pain in the arse!

    Thanks again.

  47. hoschi

    Hello!
    Thanks for the review.

    – Removed device transfer (sharing between units)

    This is “AirDrop” for Garmin. And reliable and easy to use feature.
    @Garmin: Please add it back.

    But you can use a smartphone?
    You will need to halt during ride. And fullfill a staggering amount of requirements. A compatible smartphone, active data-connection, a actual signal for transmitting the GPX, a compatible app (probably needs internet too for loading map). We had that case right last week on Mallorca. First guy without data-connection contract (yes), second guy with and Edge 1040 (ouch) without the app (++ouch). But there is maybe a WiFi? I’ve bad news, captive portals.

    Looking back to the Garmin eTrex Series you could exchange routes during an active [sic!] ride.

    And a big wish:
    Please integrate inertial navigation system (INS) like on planes, cars or smartphones. Making navigation reliable and robust. Adding more external GPS doesn’t make it reliable. Loss of GPS is the norm in mounatins, woods, tunnels, garages or big cities. My tracks from Mallorca are full of straight lines.

    Thank you

    • hoschi

      Garmin 530 (05-04-2023, cloudy conditions, Mallorca Viaduct Sa Calobra):
      link to i.imgur.com

      I will check my own settings. Either Garmin improved GPS significantly or clouds have still massive impact on GPS.

    • I’ve never seen clouds have an impact on GPS accuracy in any notable way, in all my testing.

      It actually looks like you have “Smart Recording” enabled, versus “1-Second Recording”, which does have a massive impact on GPS accuracy.

    • hoschi

      Thank you 🙂

      GPS Accuracy:
      Menu->Activity Profiles->Road(in my case)->GPS Mode [GPS+GALILEO] (kept as is)
      Recording:
      Menu->System->Data Recording->Recording Interval [1s] (previous setting [Smart])

      That should already improve the recorded track!

      Initially I checked the map because I wasn’t happy with the data displayed by Climb Pro during that day. Maybe there is a implicit relation between both. And I should calibrate the compass, too. According to Garmin there is some auto calibration but after traveling (i.e. flying) a manual calibration is recommended.

      PS: According to Garmin the 1040 and Edge Explore 2 will always use 1sec recording.

    • Yup, Galileo is your best bet for older devices. And the difference between smart and not-smart is massive. In general, smart recording drops a point every 4-7 seconds, so that’s a huge gap if descending fast on twisty roads.

      In theory (like, very long Garmin theory), it adapts to these sorts of conditions to ramp up and drop points faster. But in practice (like, me doing this for a decade and having 2-4 Garmin devices per workout), that’s simply hard not true. And your image shows exactly that. 🙂

      Good to hear they’re getting rid of smart recording. There’s zero reason for it in 2023, let alone 2013. It never saved battery (wasn’t designed for that), it was purely a space/storage savings thing.

      Enjoy!

    • SummitAK

      Hi Ray,

      Do you know if Garmin pushed out a software change to remove the option to change smart recording to one-second recording? My Data Recording menu as accessed by hoschi above doesn’t have the option. It is only Power Zeros, Cadence Zeros and HRV. Software 9.09.

      Thanks

    • Paul S.

      Maybe it’s now using 1s recording full time, so there’s no need for a choice? What’s in your FIT file? Do you have some way to read the data inside?

    • SummitAK

      Good idea. I’ll check it. I have FITFILEREPAIRTOOL.

      Thanks1

    • osobny

      This! Was looking for recording interval as well – could not find it. Anyone, please? 🙂

    • ekutter

      Just looked at the settings.fit file, as well as a recorded activity without power meter. Looks like it is indeed always set to every second, with no way to change it.

      With power meter, recording has always been every second regardless of the setting.

    • Garmin has started phasing out Smart Recording, shifting to the industry standard 1-second recording as the only/default option (even UltraTrac is still recording at a higher rate for other metrics, just not GPS). It’s been removed/omitted from a few other recently released devices too.

      This is a good change. The reasoning/logic for smart recording died years ago (storage). Remember, it never saved battery life, it was purely to reduce storage/file sizes. Instead, all it did was reduce apparent GPS accuracy, by plotting less points.

  48. Tom

    Hi Ray,
    I wonder how did you record the screen of the devices you showed during the activity? Can this be done with watches as well?

    • It’s a bit of a beta feature at the moment with a bunch of steps (and some implications to things like battery life, among other items). Sadly it can’t be done with watches yet – but I keep pushing for it (including on a call just last night!).

      I’ve long argued that such a feature makes it easy for not just media outlets, but regular users to highlight how products work. And as such, is good for companies to implement. It makes things like how-to guides simple to put together, but also helps show how product features work in action, without having to resort to taking usually crappy photos (especially at speed).

      Wahoo has it natively built in for all users, and Hammerhead makes it possible via the Android platform apps (but does burn a @!@#$#@-ton of battery).

    • Nuno Pinto

      Can you explain how it is done ? is it the hiddem menu that is accessible by pressing the right arrow ? If so I have no screen recording, just another set of options, and (AFAIK) I am running BETA

  49. lukasz

    Hi,
    Have a question considering planned workouts (comparing to wahoo)

    On Wahoo bolt when i do a structured workout for example 10x 5sex interval and at the end I decide that I want one more I can simply hit back and it will take me to the last step. It is very intuitive and works great. I upgraded my setup with an Epix watch and had two problems: lack of possible repeating intervals without restarting a whole workout and inability to edit planned workout screen (with a power target there is no hr value on same screen which makes whole thing useless for my training). So my question is regarding 840 and planned workouts:

    -can I edit planned workouts data fields? (i see there is a hr on your picture which is a good thing but can you edit other data fields? )
    -is there any easy way to edit planned workout on the fly, just like with wahoo to repeat an interval or last 3 intervals etc without repeating/restartting a whole workout?
    -what is the limit for custom data fields at the same time?

    I`m thinking about switching from wahoo to garmin (love garmin maps etc) and got used to many quirks of my epix but I train a lot and planned workouts were pushing me away from that switch. Ofc will be vey thankfull for your answer.

    • Hi Lukasz-

      While I don’t typically do “example 10x 5sex interval”, I am envious of your endurance. 🙂

      1) Editing workout data fields: Yes, you can edit the two bottom data fields to whatever you want. But you can also enable a new workout page that appears whenever a structured workout is in play, and that page is more customizable to whatever styles you want, including the workout data page components.

      2) Yes, mostly. You can iterate forward/backwards within the workout by swiping up, which lets you skip ahead and go back. So let’s say you start an interval and then hit a stop-light 20 seconds into a 5-minute interval, you can go back, and it’ll go back to the recovery section previously (pending you hitting lap to start the actual workout). Photo attached.

      3) Custom data fields for a single page is 10 data fields.

      Cheers!

    • Nuno Pinto

      This is my experience with the 1040, but the 830 should be similar:
      -can I edit planned workouts data fields? (i see there is a hr on your picture which is a good thing but can you edit other data fields? ) – YES, may fields to choose, and many screens, with some fancy graphs
      –is there any easy way to edit planned workout on the fly, just like with wahoo to repeat an interval or last 3 intervals etc without repeating/restartting a whole workout? There is a back/pause/forward screen button…but I have not tried
      –what is the limit for custom data fields at the same time? 10 per screen…
      I mostly receive the Workout from training peaks and use the EDGE to control my TACX.

    • lukasz

      “While I don’t typically do “example 10x 5sex interval”, I am envious of your endurance. 🙂”
      🙈😂

      Thank you 😀

      PS. I used wrong wording when asking about custom data fields, wanted to ask about connectiq data fields number limit. I use smart bike lights and my bike radar traffic apps and was courious if 2 is a limit like on epix or I have space left?

      cheerz (as always amazing job with the review)

  50. Martin

    See how the map page shows the map within a certain radius – so you can see the route ahead of you. And it scrolls as you ride. A long press allows quick access to zoom in/out.
    Why not a profile page that shows the same look ahead – for the profile? And scrolls as you ride and able to zoom in/out.

    ClimbPro is nice for climbs. But …
    – I like to see the flat and downhill profile as well as the climb. This is just as critical for pacing and safety.
    – I don’t want to deal with the overhead of classifying climbs or ruing about the defined ‘start’ and ‘end’.
    – I want a page that I can always access, just like the map page.

    Keep ClimbPro and simply add a scrolling profile page as well.

    • Tim

      Martin,
      While I’d agree a downhill profile could be helpful for pacing, I’d hardly call it critical for safety. The map page is significantly more useful (e.g. blind corners). You’re generally not going to ride off a cliff, and a downhill does not result in an instantaneous, significant change in velocity. Perhaps there is already a custom map solution that adds color scales (more obvious than contours) for gradients?

      It sounds like you’re asking for a free ride predictive equivalent of the already existing elevation scrolling page, with gradient coloring. Would you expect it to do this for whatever path you’re on and have to update with any turn?

    • Martin

      that was poorly worded … I think it’s critical for pacing to visualize the profile ahead; not critical for safety in my experience, but nice-to-know the terrain ahead for safety.

      What I want is a ClimbPro screen, always on. And zoomable!

      (the profile view added below the map view is useless and just makes the map smaller)
      (triggering of the ClimbPro screen is a stupid feature – where I live, many climbs start at an intersection and the ClimbPro page takes over the map and I miss the turn. It’s not logical to automatically trigger the map page … why trigger the profile? Nice the trigger can be turned off … perhaps just add the feature always on. I find the whole feature of classifying and detecting a climbs to have obscured the simple need to have an available view of the profile ahead)

      An example from my ride yesterday. There’s a short ~8% grade ~50m gain climb that triggers ClimbPro. At the ‘top’ it levels out at ~2% briefly then undulates between 2% and 5% for 3km and gaining ~75m. Then followed by a nice -5% DH. That second part does not trigger ClimbPro and is much more energy sapping than the first part, with the pacing critical to make it to the DH for recovery. I know this road, but for new roads, an always on profile view would sure help.

    • I discussed the ‘always-leave ClimbPro on’ thing with Garmin last week. It sounds like they agree there, are looking at ways of basically making those data page elements something you can stick on any data page.

    • Martin A Navarre

      Cool!

  51. Rob

    Solar “invisible glass”, is it really invisible?

    Ray, have you “eyeballed” a solar and non-solar outside on a ride? I’m hovering the “add to cart” button and my last qualm was checking if the solar causes more glare, or less clarity, or anything adverse?

    • In the video I’ve got some footage side by side showing the slight darkness of the solar vs non-solar.

      There’s no more glare in one versus the other, just a tiny bit darker.

  52. Michael

    Are the physical buttons the same (i.e. still hard to find with gloves)?

  53. Jackie T

    Do you think the following feature will be added to the 530?

    “Added ClimbPro Free-Ride mode, which automatically triggers ClimbPro without a route”

  54. Jonas

    Hi DCR,

    In Sweden you can buy the 530 for 50% less than the 540. I have an Epix 2 and no power meters for my bike.

    Would you say it’s worth double the money for the 540?

    Kind regards, Jonas

  55. Hector

    Hi Ray,

    Couple of questions:

    1) Do you believe the touch screen worth the extra money? Y remember comments of people saying the Touch on the 830 didn’t work that well and that id didn’t worth the extra money

    2) How about screen size vs previous models? Seems like the solar panels are stealing screen size. Comments?

    Thanks and awesome review!

  56. J D

    Thanks, Ray! I figured this must be coming when the 1040 launched, but with my 830 having connection issues, I took a chance on the 1040 Solar, and it’s much better at keeping connections. Had the 840 Solar been available last fall, that would have been my choice, it sounds like the optimal unit. (But the 1040 Solar is great.)

    I’m any case, looking to the free ride ClimbPro!

    • Paul S.

      The 17.09 beta out today for the 1040 has free ride Climb Pro. I’m looking forward to using it tomorrow.

    • Bob

      Used it today on my 1040. Loaded the beta SW in the morning and actually forgot about it until, like magic, the ClimbPro screen popped up. Worked quite well on the two climbs I encountered (no course deviations possible, so spot-on).

  57. Heiko

    Are there any improvements to font sizes on the data screens? With 530, you ended up with a lot of empty space even when showing few datafields. Expectation would be that the font grows proportionally. Wahoo does this much better.

  58. TH

    Any noticeable decrease in the charging time with the move to USB-C versus the old micro-USB? Realizing it’s a little bit of apples and oranges but would be curious if you have experience with giving the unit a substantial charge (enough for a 3-4 hour ride) in a short amount of time. Can’t tell you how many times I have hopped on the bike only to realize I have 8% charge left.

    • It seems fast to me. I went from 2% to 11% in 7 mins for a quick thing a few mins ago.

      Roughly speaking, I’m getting 2-3%/hour for burn times, so that’s like 3-4 hours in just a touch over 5 mins.

    • Heiko

      if the device doesn’t provide “true” (power delivery) USB-C charging (usually indicated by USB-C on both ends of the charging cable) the charging speed is probably the same as before.

    • Dion O'Neill

      Hi Ray,
      Great review as always. I was going to ask the same question as Heiko does it do “proper” USB-C charging? Have you tried a usb-C to C cable from a usb-c charger. Even better plug in a inline power meter and see what it’s really doing.

      Tne USB-A to C cable in the box makes me think it’s just a new connector not a proper sb-c device. I have usb-c loghts that wont charge from a usb-c charger as they don’t chat about what they want.

      Thanks, Dion

    • Attached pic from USB-C voltmeter (link to amzn.to) – plugged into a 90w USB-C PD unit (Apple laptop charger).

      In the case of Garmin, I haven’t had any issues with their implementation of the USB-C power spec on the x40 devices. Whereas there’s plenty of other companies in the space that have screwed it up (though, becoming less common thankfully). I can use any cable to any port, and it seems happy.

      I haven’t looked carefully at the 0% to 100% charging times, but based on some timed tidbits, I’d guess it’s about an hour.

    • usr

      Nice. This USB-PD, which would mean negotiating with tiny computers in both power supply and cable for higher voltage and/or ah higher current that would incinerate a simple USB cable, but at some point those tiny batteries (even the 1040 has a battery not that much bigger than that of a bolt!) would start suffering considerable wear and tear from trying to charge faster. 5W is actually getting into the range where you you might want to charge slower outside of one of those emergency situations (which *will* get more frequent now that we have too much runtime to maintain that “charge after every ride” routine!)

      For the record, 1030+ (the last micro-B Edge) stays well below 0.5A at around 60%.

    • Dion O'Neill

      Thanks Ray.
      That was exactly what I was after! Looks like how I would have done it myself as I have the same usb-c meter !

    • Alex

      Sometimes I really don’t know what Garmin is thinking. On the new Forerunner models, they switch from USB-A to USB-C on the charger side. That’s fine. But with the new Edge models, they keep USB-A on the charger side and only switch from Micro-USB to USB-C on the device side. So I still need a USB-A charger instead of only being able to use USB-C chargers. Very inconsistent…

    • Qjones

      You can use a USB-C charger and USB-C lead to charge it, works fine.

    • usr

      “On the new Forerunner models, they switch from USB-A to USB-C on the charger side. That’s fine. But with the new Edge models, they keep USB-A on the charger side and only switch from Micro-USB to USB-C on the device side. So I still need a USB-A charger instead of only being able to use USB-C chargers. Very inconsistent…”

      But it’s not stupid, surprisingly nuanced actually: the watch has a custom plug on the device side, therefore any pick on the other end, both A or C, would inconvenience some who don’t have a wide selection of chargers. And solving zhat with an adapter (e.g. while traveing) would be far more elegant from A(male) to C(female) than in the reverse direction. C plug in an adapter to A plug is almost as small as a native A plug.

      But in contrast to the Forerunner, an Edge does not need a special cable. Any cable that’s C on one end will do. Most buyers would be perfectly fine without any cable included at all. But the few who still arent’t set up for charging C on the device side are far more likely to not have some charger with C than to not have some charger with A.

  59. TheStansMonster

    Feature bloat. The number of people that actually use Garmin’s rudimentary “training guidance” features can’t possibly be large enough to justify continually adding more hand-wavey insights and metrics.

    • Lonnie

      Goodness me, absolutely this. How many people are using these training features? It’s insanity to me that they are touting these things. I just want something to connect to my components and give me a map. I don’t want to pay for these nonsense features.

    • Neil Jones

      Have a look at Garmin’s forums, or even other discussion comments on here. You’ll see that there’s plenty of people for whom these training metrics and features are equally important and influence buying decisions.

  60. Justin B

    Great write up, as always. Is Varia Vision still supported (heads up display)?

  61. Gyre

    Have you had a chance to test pairing and functionality with Tyrewiz? The 530/830 units were a hot mess, relying on an abandonware ConnectIQ widget that failed so often I was constantly doing an install/uninstall dance to get anything out of it.

  62. Kertész György

    I’ve been waiting for a long time for Varia Radar and Varia headligth to be adjustable in each profile. Just as the use of GPS can be turned off for indoor use, it would be important not to have to turn off the light system every time I do an indoor workout. This is so obvious and simple that I don’t understand why it is not thought of.

    Similarly, it would be important that not only the end of the distance covered should be indicated by sound through the headset/phone, but that other signals could be configured, such as radar warnings, which are easily lost in the traffic noise.

    Translated with link to DeepL.com (free version)

  63. Bailh00

    Hey Ray! Awesome review as always. I’m curious why you think that the Garmin Battery Pack is “severely outdated?”

    • Announces nearly 7 years ago now, the size vs mAh alone makes it out-dated. At ~3,000mAh, you can get almost double that in a lipstick-size USB charger these days, and one that includes both USB-C and regular USB-charging. Plus, those cost $10-$20, versus this thing retails for $150!

      I think it’s a cool concept, and I don’t mind paying a premium when well integrated. For example, if it was the same size, but also included a tiny internal pull-out something charge for phones, that’d be awesome, and what folks often want. But even looking at just the Edge use case itself, it’s super clunky/big for not a ton of battery power.

    • usr

      Arguably the same had already been true when it was announced, batteries have only become marginally better (those in phones just get physically bigger every year).

      But chances are that when you buy one of those Garmin packs, it will be one that has been living on a shelf ever since the announcement. And seven years is well in the range of battery age where decay from disuse starts getting an issue as much as wear from use. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if that battery pack never had a production run after the original one, could be that no single unit exists with a manufacture date that isn’t before release.

  64. Bernie

    The use case I’d think of for solar is 3-4 years after I buy it, does the battery start to degrade? When there’s double-digit hours of battery life, I’ll never need solar charging. But in 2026, if it’s down to 7 hours of total battery life, that solar charging could get me through a long day, and extend the overall life of the Garmin.

    My Edge 130 has had this problem; it no longer lasts 8 hours, which has led to some tense situations at the end of epic rides. Of course, it’s a smaller battery.

  65. Kertész G.

    Hey Ray,

    I’ve been waiting for a long time for Varia Radar and Varia headligth to be adjustable in each profile. Just as the use of GPS can be turned off for indoor use, it would be important not to have to turn off the light system every time I do an indoor workout. This is so obvious and simple that I don’t understand why it is not thought of.

    Similarly, it would be important that not only the “end of the lap” should be indicated by sound through the headset/phone, but that other signals could be configured, such as radar warnings, which are easily lost in the traffic noise.

    I have of course written to Garmin about this, but I would be interested in your opinion.

  66. Jeff

    Is the 540 able to do POI search while riding? Either directly on the 540 or using Garmin Connect? I found this to be a big limitation for me on the 530. There are workarounds using a separate phone app, but it’s annoying that it isn’t built in.

    • Jeff

      According to the 840 and 540 manual it has the following, which is a huge difference, as the 530 didn’t have the option to search for a POI. Did you get a 540 to demo? if so, can you confirm?

      : Navigating to a Location
      TIP: You can use the Location Search glance to perform a quick search from the home screen. If necessary, you can add the glance to the glance loop (Customizing the Glances, page 57).
      1
      Select Navigation.
      2
      Select an option:


      Select Search to navigate to a city, point of interest, or saved location.

    • Yes, you can do the Location Search on the Edge 540, works fine for me. I show it in my Edge 540 Review Video, which I haven’t quite finished editing. 🙂

  67. MatthewQC

    I see that you can add an Inreach device as a “sensor”. Did you do any testing as to the level of integration? I’m expecting to hear it still doesn’t work with LiveTrack, and that adding it as a sensor pretty much gives you the ability to see that it has a GPS/Inreach satellite signal plus read incoming messages and that’s it?

  68. Volker

    Does the new ClimbPro free ride feature only works with the installed Garmin routable cycle maps?

    • Hmm…. it technically pulls from a slightly separate database in a different folder, but I’m not sure how exactly it ties to the Garmin Cycle Maps from a technical level.

  69. MCC

    How the trainer control screen look like while riding planned workout? Can you define separate screen to follow stages of e.g. TP structured workout?

  70. Zach

    Does this Free Climb Pro function work with mountain bike trails (Trailforks)? I assume it should, if the larger maps are just more detailed elevation data, unless it’s only tied to the roads?

  71. chris

    Hello
    One thing i use a lot during training with my garmin 530 is the XERT MPA metric. (The main reason i am subscribing to XERT). As a live field on the 530 and afterward during session analysis on their website.
    I would like to know how the STAMINA feature on the 540/840 series compares against XERT MPA?
    At first look, both of them seems pretty similar.
    Regards

    • Harmen

      I find that Xert is more precise. It clearly indicates when you’re breaking through and putting out more power than it thinks you had left in you. Stamina will go towards zero at such a moment, but may still show some left. It hasn’t helped me manage power output for a short segment for example. The nice thing about Stamina is rather the indication of how much further you can still go at a more steady pace. It’s meant to show both short-term and long-term, but it’s best at long-term in my experience. Keen to hear what others have noticed.

  72. Joerg

    Today: Buying a 530 for less than 200€, or buying one of the new x40 Units?! What would you do?

    • Heiko

      price/value is definitely far better for a 530, especially since the hardware is largely the same (especially same screen, same-ish battery life). You need to decide whether any of the new features is must-have which would make you pay double price.

      From the top of my head, without looking again at Rays list:
      – USB-C? (the future, but i still have other micro USB devices so i have a cable with me anyway)
      – Slightly more battery life? (there are edge cases where this matters, but for the average cyclist?)
      – Slightly more modern interface and e.g. configuration possible via phone app
      – Open cimbing feature (i live in a flat area and when i am somewhere else, i am using a route – so very limited value for me)
      – a dozen features related to performance and training status (i treat most of them more as fun fact than to actually steer my training)

      PS: I will probably upgrade anyway from 530 but it’s not gonna be a rational decision.

  73. Seb

    Ray, did you ask Garmin what happened with the broken VO2max? I have the same issue and it would be nice to know what is going on here.

  74. Matthew HARTLEY

    “It continues to be my favorite Garmin feature out of everything they do. It makes it exceptionally easy to see how much suffering you have left.”

    Ray, this is poetry. The remaining suffering is always a priority 😀

  75. Rixter

    At long last. Solid review as usual. Are all the world maps pre-loaded on the 840 or do you still have 1/2 dozen different maps covering the globe and you get the default for where you bought the device and must purchase whatever is missing?

    • Rixter

      Clarification, if I buy the 840 Solar will it come with both Europe and North America maps?

      Also there’s no silicone case bundled anymore?

    • It’s supposed to come with both, as my understanding. Though, either way, it’s trivial to switch up the pre-loaded regions.

    • Rixter

      I managed to dig around on the Garmin site and found this link to support.garmin.com

      Which Maps are Included With The Edge 840 Series?
      If purchased in North America (US, Canada, or Mexico), the Edge 840 Series preloaded with the following maps:
      -North America Cycle Map
      -Europe Cycle Map
      -Trailforks

    • Bob

      I loaded the new 1040 beta SW today to test free ClimbPro. The website advised to uninstall and reinstall the maps. Before, I had both NA and Europe installed, After reinstalling NA, it said I no longer had enough capacity to add Europe. No big deal for me, but was surprised that the 1040 storage couldn’t hold both.

    • The Edge 1040 should have enough space for both, easily. It sounds like perhaps the old map sets didn’t get deleted.

    • Volker

      I also deleted my old cycle map Europe from 1040 and tried to install them again via Express. Device is showing 18 gb free memory, but Express is telling me, that this is not enough memory for installing the cycle map Europe. Had to delete another map and only with 20 gb free memory the Express download was starting. Strange.

    • Volker

      I have downloaded the full new cycle Europe map= 11,8 gb + 7,4 gb in the Garmin SQL folder on the device (seems to be the special climp maps)= 19,2 gb!!!

      Ray, can yot please ask Garmin if thats correct? What about the devices with only 16 gb memory (and the 16 gb are not full available)`? Thanks

    • Volker

      Full new cycle Europe maps (Garmin Geocode Map EU 2022.10; Garmin DEM Map EU 2022.10, Garmin cycle map EU 2022.11, East, Garmin cycle map EU 2022.11, West, Garmin cycle map EU 2022.11, Central) = 11,8 gb

      + 7,4 gb in the Garmin SQL folder on the device (seems to be the special climb maps for the new climbPro free riding feature: Garmin ClimbPro EU East 2022.11; Garmin ClimbPro EU West 2022.11, Garmin ClimbPro EU Central 2022.11 )

      = 19,2 gb!!!

    • Marcin

      With ClimbPro data, Europe and US maps no longer fit together in my Edge 1040 non-Solar (32 GB). I guess they only fit on Edge 1040 Solar (64 GB) now 🙂

      Funny, that all Europe no longer fits on just-released Edge 540.

    • Yeah, in my case, i have central and west on the 840 by default, but not east.

  76. Isaac

    Does anyone know why this isn’t available on Amazon?

    • It does show now, though, the SKU’s are kinda a bit funky still. This one from a 3rd party company (one that’s pretty well known for doing bundled Garmin stuff on Amazon), and they have the 540/840 – including Solar, in-stock: link to amzn.to

  77. Joel

    I have the old 520 and was wondering if the new one also has an ftp test in it.
    I use that about once a month.

  78. Paul V

    Having never used a touch-screen bike computer before, I think the biggest concern for me is what the touch screen is like when wet or using gloves. I know cellphones can be very hit and miss.

    And I would also assume that the gloves would have to be the kind with capacitive fingertips ??

    • I shot a bit wet touchscreen thing for the 840, but just haven’t had a chance to edit it. Zero issues in rain on the Edge 840, and i don’t have any of those fancy fingertip ones. Just random 10yo gloves.

      But, it’s basically a repeat of the Edge 1040 video I did last year showing it: link to youtube.com

  79. Tom

    Thanks Ray – been waiting for Garmin to announce this!

    Do you think that the beefed-up workout suggestions are going to be a viable trainerroad alternative?
    I’ve used TR with good success for several years, but the features of workout suggestions that you describe seem comparable – perhaps even better than TR if you also own a Garmin wearable – as it seems like it will take your training readiness parameters into account.

    I’m loyal to TR but the idea of having one less subscription is appealing!

  80. Tyler

    Two of my desired features in a new Garmin bike computer still seem to be missing (and maybe I’m the only one who desires this):

    1) I was really hoping they would add at least a daylight running headlight to the front of the unit, like the Fenix 7X flashlight.
    Nothing too powerful – just a running light for visibility to traffic. With the larger battery and solar, I can’t imagine such a thing would have much impact on battery life, or heat accumulation in the electronics.

    2) It would be very helpful if you could link an Edge bike computer to a Forerunner watch, to use the watch’s built-in HR monitor, automatically, whenever starting an activity. Similar to how the Varia lights can start automatically with an activity.
    Maybe there’s already a hidden feature like this, Ray?

    • Tyler

      I’ll add that I know how to manually broadcast HR from watch to bike computer; it’s just quite a few steps, and I often forget.

    • Marcin

      You most likely want to start an activity on your watch anyway. Otherwise I was experiencing two kinds of problems:
      – When I used the HRM sensor in my old Venu 2 Plus, my heart rate was severely underestimated on a number of occasions, for pretty much the whole workout duration. Like 70 bpm instead of 120+ during a tempo interval, possibly syncing to my cadence. Garmin support pages explain that syncing to muscle contraction rate is a known failure scenario for optical sensors.
      – When I used a HRM Dual strap, the watch was not recording the HR from the strap, despite it being connected. Maybe I overlooked something, but I never seen this problem again since I start activities on my watch as well.

      To my understanding, the HR sensor runs in a different mode when activity is on. And you can start the HR broadcast (at least on my new Forerunner 965) when the activity is started. So what I think would make more sense, is to have synchronized activity start between the watch and the Edge.

      I wonder how Ray is using multiple devices (like a watch and an Edge) with the same Garmin account and ends up with proper activity record, proper full-day health record, single activity being recorded in Garmin Connect (and ideally also on both devices) and proper intensity minutes/training load/whatever estimation. Because to me it’s a mess, something is always off. Or how Ray likes to put it, it’s a dumpster fire 😉

    • For me, the only thing I really care about in my Garmin Account in terms of normalization is the Training Load. And to Garmin’s credit, Unified Training Status manages to unsort the giant dumpster fire of duplicate activities that is my account.

      But for things like total minutes or total time, that’s a lost cause for me. 🙂

    • Ronald

      The unified training status. Is this only working with the new Garmin devices or also the older ones ?

      Because I have a FR945 and E530 and now I double record and delete afterwards the activity of the 530, to keep my data clean. Because you see different values because of the different fit calculations

      Could I use the 840 with the FR945, only record with the 840 and keep my data clean?

      Thanks for your reply

    • It works with all Garmin devices actually, but the ‘level’ it works differs.

      However, the Edge 530/830 are fully supported in UTS. The FR945 is considered “partially” supported since it doesn’t support Training Readiness, but exempting that, it supports everything else.

      Assuming you’ve configured your values the same in the Edge 530/945, you actually shouldn’t see any differences in those files.

    • Tom Bartman

      On the connect app on your phone, go to the hamburger menu, Garmin Devices, pick your watch, Appearance, Controls, and there you can add Broadcast Heart Rate (it would be down below in Available if it’s not already on your control screen).

      After a sync, it will become easier. When you need to turn it on (before a ride), press and hold the Light button (it’s the top left button on my 255) and you’ll see the series of controls and one of them is to turn on and off the HR Broadcasting. Maybe you can leave it on all the time, but I suspect the battery life is a little lower?

  81. Nick J

    Will any of the software feature updates on the x40 series be made available on the x30 series via a firmware update?

  82. Roger

    Any word on the limit of strava live segments the device will track? Previous garmin devices were limited to 100.

  83. Dave

    Thanks Ray – looks like I’ll be ditching my 530 as the touchscreen is now too tempting. Have you had anything from Garmin about the broken/non-updating Vo2 issue? I’ve had exactly the same on my Fenix 7XSS for ages now, despite volumes going up and down. It’s a serious bug, IMO – and one that sees me running with my Apple Watch nearer home and leaning on RunGap to keep things tidy.

    • Not yet. We briefly discussed it back in the 965. It’s on my to-do list to raise again.

      Though, my rough goal is by making enough noise in reviews this week about it, they’ll dig into it. 🙂 I’ve heard from a number of other people that saw VO2Max basically die back in November.

    • Dave

      Much appreciated!

  84. Visionset

    I can’t decipher your paragraph on battery usage claims versus test. You used the word conservative so I am guessing battery life is a bit better than claimed, but then you say ‘burn rate exceeded claims’ that really means you get less life than claimed. Could you clear that up please?

  85. Adam

    Typical for Wiggle – if you are in Australia you probably get this response…

    Garmin Edge 840 Bike Computer Black One Size
    Sorry – this product is no longer available.

  86. JoseR

    In the new beta version 13.10 (Fenix 7/Epix) there’s a thing called cycling readiness, I thought it was something coming to the 540/840. Does anyone know what it is?

  87. acousticbiker

    Thanks as always, Ray!

    Disappointed but not surprised that ClimbPro free-ride won’t be added to the 530 but hopefully to the Epix.

    Do you know whether stamina will make it to the 530? Trying to decide whether to upgrade from 530 to x40

    Surprised not to see SatIQ in x40 – do you know if there are plans to add?

    • Neil Jones

      SatIQ is in the 1040 beta launched yesterday, according to the release notes. Confusingly though, in the actual on-device settings it’s just called ‘Automatic’

    • Correct. It’s one of those things were SatIQ is such a brilliant marketing term for it, and then on all the devices they just call it ‘Automatic’. I don’t understand why they don’t put in the menu: “SatIQ – Automatic”, after all, the menu name for “All Systems – Multiband GNSS” is a heck of a lot longer already, and it would reduce so much confusion.

  88. Peter

    I have been waiting for the release of the 540/840. I purchased a Karoo 2 last year but it just doesn’t quite tick all the boxes for me. Was leaning towards the 540 but after reading the review I’m now thinking the 840 is the way to go. I will probably get the solar to give me plenty of capacity for the odd 24 hour race and multiday ride.

    As usual Ray, your reviews are comprehensive and informative. Just a couple of reviews like this justify the annual donation.

  89. Casti

    Can you reverse the course on the unit or it stil has to be done on connect?

  90. Hansen

    Just curious when you say 1040 is “just like 840 with a bigger screen”. is the bigger screen translated to displaying more data fields? or the same amount of data fields but larger text?
    the problem i had with the smaller devices is that i think they only display up to 8 data fields per page i believe? i’d like to have 10.

  91. Volker

    Hey Ray, perhaps you can give me a hint: I have downloaded 17.09 and installed the new maps included the Garmin ClimbPro EU East 2022.11; Garmin ClimbPro EU West 2022.11, Garmin ClimbPro EU Central 2022.11 maps on my 1040er. I have started a free ride (without navigation) but I get no list of climbs. I have to say that I live at 3m and there are not much climbs nearby. You are showing a pic, that you can see climbs in a radius of set km; 100km radius on your pic. Can´t see/find a setting for that? Thanks

    • Neil Jones

      The 1040 beta seems to default to only activating ClimbPro for medium+ climbs, have you tried changing that to ‘all’?

    • Volker

      Just found the climb Explore page as I scrolled through my widgets. I was expecting to see/find it in the used activity.

  92. DrPeperino

    Hey Ray,

    I guess I might just sit down and wait, but I’m curious and I’ll ask anyway: any rumor about the eventual issuance of the Garming Edge 140?

    thanks
    Luca

    • Marcin

      I was waiting for 840 and ended up buying 1040, because at launch 840 turned out to be more expensive than 1040 😀

      In Europe you can get Edge 530 for like 190 euros (amazon.de) and Edge 130 for like 140 euros (on shady websites, but it’s 145 on amazon.de). Given how severely crippled is Edge 130 (display, maps, memory, training features, even battery life), I would consider the difference to be worth 50 bucks.

      When 140 launches with a price most likely around 200 bucks. Do you want to wait until it drops below the price of Edge 530 to still get a most likely worse device in the end? 🙂 OK, maybe it will get multi-band GNSS and smartphone music control if we’re lucky, and daily workout suggestions and stamina if we are very lucky. But with this amount of luck, you might just have 540 available for 200 bucks around then 😉

    • DrPeperino

      What you say makes a lot of sense, and generally speaking I don’t think I will be really buying the Edge 140, especially at full price when it comes on the market.
      Today I’m not considering the 130/130+ because of their lack of features, but sometimes I still find myself looking at them because of the super compact form factor and the weight saving. For daily use I have a 1040 and I would keep using it, but if Garmin were to come out with a good compromise between price and features (and of course keeping same size and weight) I might be tempted.. eventually at a second stage when some offer show up..

  93. Erik

    Does 840 still accept open street maps like 830 pe
    link to openfietsmap.nl

  94. Hi,
    Thank you for the review. Went from 820 to 530 because of bad touchscreen. Now the 530 I don’t like the buttons as they sometimes are sticky. The 840 will be the best of both I hope.

    I do have a question about the maps. As I ride a lot of gravel in Eifel and Ardennes, I loaded OSM maps on the 530. When looking at the Mantel.com website, they say “Kaartmateriaal uitbreidbaar = Nee”. So no extra maps. Though on the Garmin website it seems I can now download almost every maptime I would like ( link to garmin.com ). Are those the same OSM maps one would usually sideload on the device?

  95. mateusz

    I am asking for advice/help. I have a Forerunner 955 and I’m wondering if it’s worth buying an Edge 840. My area is flat, I will go on climbing 2-4 times a year. The watch can be mounted on the handlebar mount. Do I understand correctly that the Edge 840 has a larger display and no ClimbPro function compared to the Fr 955?

    • Heiko

      The much bigger screen is for me the reason to get a dedicated cycling computer, even if my watch has more or less the same features. Navigation/map is so much easier to see. Also the option to show up to 10 data fields is helpful.

  96. ArT

    They didn’t fix the most important thing. Page layout. They are ugly on garmin. Small fonts don’t fit. The data layout is just ugly. Each site seems to be designed by people who have never ridden a bike. For me the pattern is Wahoo and Karoo

  97. Marco

    Thanks for the review Ray! In the Accuracy part you mentioned the Koppenburg instead of Koppenberg 😉

    And you should come and ride the Amstel Gold Race route here in Limburg, to finally show you that we have some hills in this otherwise pancake flat country 😉

  98. Sven

    Hi Ray. As always, a great summary. Do you know if GARMIN has finally managed to make the auto pause function work even during structured training? This is the case with WAHOO. And how does it behave with the VI (variability index) ? Has Garmin already taken that into account? Best thanks says Sven

  99. hi Ray! 🙂

    as always, great and reliable review of the device. There’s one thing missing that I can’t find.

    Is there an option to synchronize routes / training in real time? You know, I’m talking about a situation that during a stop (I have a training record running) I draw a route on my phone (e.g. in Komoot), I want to send it to Garmin (either as a gpx file or from the connect IQ application).

    In older devices I will not do it (tested in e1000 / e530) because connect iq applications are blocked. Sure, you can do it with the gimporter / gexporter widget, but it’s a hack / stain on the garmin’s honor that it hasn’t figured it out yet, while e.g. Wahoo or Karoo do it without a problem.

    Thanks in advance for reply.

    greetings from Poland.

  100. QJones

    How do the warning beeps compare with the previous models in terms of pitch and volume? I (and others) have ageing ears that do not hear the frequency of the 530/830 well. I have to use the Varia app and bone conducting headphones to reliably hear radar warnings; this works well but I’d rather not have to.

    • Qjones

      Replying to my own post as my Edge 840 has just arrived. The tones are much louder than my Edge 530, in fact hey are very loud when sat on my desk and I have no doubt that I’ll be able to hear them on the bike. I’ve only just set the device up and must say my first impression is that with the touch screen and new UI it makes the 530 feel like something from the steam age.

    • It’s funny, when my wife and I were out riding a few days ago, she had the Edge 830, and I the Edge 840/540. She got all upset that her beeps were really quiet compared to mine. Then a few days later on a run, the same for her Fenix 7S compared to my FR965.

      But I had meant to come back and actually compare them side by side. Glad you’ve done (part of) that for me. 🙂

  101. Yves

    Hey Ray, I have a really niche question. I often train on unfamiliar routes because I have to travel a lot. Usually I do a TrainerRoad workout on my ride. I would love to have a split screen with parts auf the map and the TR Intervalls, power and time remaining. A bit like here: link to media.dcrainmaker.com . Is there an option to configure a screen on the 840 or 1040?

    • Not yet. Garmin is looking at adding the ClimbPro page as individual components, which would basically allow you to do what you want…I think…maybe…probably…hopefully.

  102. Eni

    About doubling the map size:

    I noticed on my F7, that the Europe-Map has blown up considerably:

    2020.20, 7.98 gb
    2021.10, 8.88 gb
    2021.20 9.54 gb
    2022.10 13.41 gb!!!

    This leaves me with almost no space on my F7 solar (non-Sapphire, so only 16 gb). Has this something do to with the climb-pro free-ride feature?

  103. Micah

    Is it possible to transfer a GPX file from your phone to the 840, without an internet connection (ie. by direct transfer over bluetooth or device-to-device wifi)?

  104. Frank Fiorentino

    Great review, as always. I am quite conflicted. I have used a Karoo 2 for the last 2 years and the battery life is a real issue for me. The workarounds of lower screen brightness )making it difficult to read), disconnecting alerts, using battery save….are not really acceptable. A typical 5-6 hour ride sees my battery depleted to a level that leaves no margin for error.

    The 840 solar looks like a strong contender as does the 1040 (but I am not sure I want such a large computer on my bike). I am very interested in the Garmin ecosystem go app integrations which I had hoped would take off on the Karoo 2. Side loading apps only means more battery consumption and no true integration.

    Your review is giving me a lot to think about.

  105. James Rai

    I like the idea of the solar panels but the performance is just terrible. I might as well charge it or use a usb battery pack.

    It’s just not worth it. I had high hopes the solar panels would be strong enough to run it and gain battery power. Even left alone to recharge in Europe’s spring doesn’t justify the price hike.

  106. Massimo

    Hi Ray, great as always.
    Still seeing nothing preventing from accidentally closing an activity/ride !
    In general in Garmin environment, I’m not asking to re-open and add riding to an already completed activity, but it’s so easy to accidentally close and finish one.
    So annoying.

    • Actually, there is! I just mentally forgot to mention it. It’s cool.

      Essentially, when you stop a ride, you see this new screen. This screen has three options: Start, back (to resume), and Settings. If you press settings, then you’re brought to another list-style screen, which also defaults to ‘Resume’ (it’s otherwise where you can change things like ride type). If you were to still somehow manage to hit discard there, it’d prompt you yet again.

      Basically, it’s darn-near impossible to do accidentally discard a ride. Somewhat ironically, while I was testing this in Mallorca, I had two friends (husband/wife) that at the same ride, independently of each other, managed to delete/discard their rides. Was fresh in my mind…

  107. Frans

    Great post!

    A suggestion for a future article, is the broken non activity solar charge. I have a 1040 Solar, and while I think the (reported) solar charge during an activity is reasonable, the advertised non-activity charge is non functional on the 1040 Solar. There are more than one thread about that on the Garmin forums

    link to forums.garmin.com

    • Yeah, I’ve seen the thread, and am going to dig a bit more there. I need a few more sunny (but cool) days to leave it out all day long.

    • Frans

      Great. I left mine out in the sunny and chilly spring sun for a day. No change in %, no overheating. When going down to sleep it was reporting “high” Sun potential, or what it is saying.

      🙂

  108. Scott

    Really enjoyed the write up. Time to upgrade from my Edge 520…

    The discount code above doesn’t work though.

  109. Simon S

    Regarding the lanyard, as a mountain biker I’ve never had a Mount break (even in a crash) but I’ve knocked a few off the Mount when crashing and even more frequently just living bikes or getting through gates.

    So lanyards an essential!

    Great review. I’d have bought the solar version but really seems no point at all based on those figures.

  110. Andrew

    At this point would you say this is better than any current Wahoo offering or what is your general impression now?

    • jww

      That probably doesn’t need to be explicitly said. It’d be hard for the most ardent Wahoo fan to claim a Wahoo GPS tops an Edge 530/830, let alone these 540/840s.

      Loved my first Bolt, but since 2017 Wahoo has fully shifted to the follower/laggard category in bike GPS.

    • Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see Wahoo’s rumored free-style ClimbPro expected soonish.

      That said, even setting that aside, as others have noted, I see Wahoo is moving well behind Hammerhead and their Karoo 2 at this point (whom I would put in 2nd place behind Garmin’s bike computer offerings).

      Hammerhead continues to make great strides. About the only real limiter at this point is really just the slow responsiveness of the device itself (user interface). The new UI is great, but man is it slow for menu usage.

    • Frank Fiorentino

      I think the real limiter with the HH is battery life. After 2 years of use I am unable to get to acceptable levels. I think I am going for the 840.

    • Frans

      Fully agree! I havre a K2 and a 1040 Solar. Although I really like the K2 better in many aspect, as a Randonneur, the max battery time is just a starter when the minimum distance, 200 km, is a 8-9 hr ride for me.
      The 1040 outperforms it so much. On a 1200 km ride I charged my 1040 Solar after approx 720 km/44 hrs, and it still had juice to go at that point.

  111. Ricky

    Hi, thanks for the review.
    i have never used the touchscreen (i own a 520 now) and i am not 100% convinced of 840. If i go for it and i don’t want to use the touchscreen anymore (because of the sensitivity, the sweat..), is there a way to de-activate it and use the buttons only? thanks

  112. Neil Wilson

    Have you by any chance used the device on off road routes, just asking because the Wahoo Roam 2 seems to have beaten the rest in the this regard up until now.

  113. Hexafluoroplatinate

    …and now for dumb question #467:

    Will an Edge 530 case fit an Edge 540/840?

    (because the new Edge 540/840 compatible silicone case is out of stock)

  114. David

    When you are on map display with “Track Up” enabled does it still flip the map 90 degrees when you come to a stop? My 830 does that despite it having a built in compass to know which way the unit is pointing. They are probably still using the same map orientation code from the 700 series units.

  115. Jirapat

    Hi Ray. A quick question. How does Stamina sync between the on eon my watch and the one on says edge540? Would they be in sync or separated?

    • My understanding is that, assuming the same source of power/HR, they should remain pretty close to in sync.

      Stamina is both calculated per-activity, but also based on your recovery time and other physio metrics. Those metrics around training load sync constantly throughout the day (as workouts complete), but some components like Training Readiness fully sync each morning when you wake-up. Stamina has a high dependency on the Recovery Time metric, which is synced anytime an activity completes on your devices.

      Long story short, assuming everything is in sync and configured the same, they should start at the same value, and should track almost identically throughout the activity.

  116. zscs

    I’ve had many Garmin Edge units during the years, still have and use my old 520, 830 and my favourite one: Edge 130 Plus. This solar stuff makes the new 540/840 really interesting.
    I know, will remain a dream but what if Garmin would come up with an Edge 140 Solar? 🙂 I’d definitely buy one!

    • The bill of materials cost for Garmin’s solar tech is reasonably high, and thus I don’t think we’d see it on their budget Edge device unless the price for that device notably increased, or, Garmin has found a way to significantly reduce the cost of solar.

  117. Huelsi

    Damit, I don’t know what to do. I really love my Bolt v1 and it still works fine but I also like the ClimbPro feature. I recently bought an Epix2 and also like the training metrics which the Wahoo computers do not provide even when the fit file is uploaded to garmin connect.
    Now I’m having a big fight with myself if to go for the Roam v2 or the Edge 840.
    I love the idea of the touch screen but do not miss it on my Bolt v1. Is it a big game changer? I for example really like the concept of the Wahoo that you can add/ remove datafields on the training page by pressing the +/- buttons. Is something like this also possible with touch on the garmin, e.g. switch easyli between screens?

    • There’s no concept like Wahoo’s +/- feature, but you can have two workout specific data pages that are customizable (one partially, one fully). Swiping between screens is easy and quick.

    • Huelsi

      Got it, thanks!
      Now I just have to weigh if I’m willing to pay for features like power guide, stamina and the training metrics (partially, some can be achived by editing the fit file before uploading to garmin connect).

    • Leszek

      The +/- option in Edge (and not only) as much as possible exists. Just not through the +/- buttons, because it requires entering the configuration of a given screen and selecting the number and layout of displayed data fields on a given screen.
      If there are, for example, 10 data fields displayed at the beginning and you select, for example, 3, the fields from the bottom of the screen are hidden. They are not removed, but just hidden. Selecting 10 fields again will restore them to their place on the screen.
      Admittedly, this is not one (several) button presses, but requires several touches of the screen (I think 3, but I can’t remember now), and the same is true for push-button devices such as the E530 or Fenix 6.

  118. Viktor

    Hey Ray,

    Great deatailed review as always. Not sure if I’m ready to jump from the 530 yet, but anytime I’ll consider I’ll come back and read 🙂 at least I know if I upgrade I’ll upgrade to a 840 (non solar) or 1040.

    One of my main issues with 530 is the backlight setup. I see the display very well during daytime, (when it’s “white”) and I don’t need constant backlight to consume battery life. However when I’m riding home, it gets dark -magically in the evening- and the garmin realizes this, and goes to dark theme, but still has no constant backlight, and I’m not able to see the screen anymore.
    Is there any way in 530 – 840 – 1040 to solve this very unique issue – beyond setting constant backlight all the time.

    Regards.
    Viktor

    • On the Edge 540/840/1040, there’s an option for the Backlight Timeout to “Stays On”. But that’s also there on the Edge 530 too.

      Roughly under System > Display Backlight Timeout > Stays On

  119. Joseph Clark

    Am i understanding correctly that only the 840 has the phone config?

  120. For those wanting a very simple uncut test of the Edge 840 touchscreen in rainy conditions, or with gloves, here ya go. Likely the least fancy and shortest video I’ve made in a while. link to youtube.com

  121. Heiko

    is there any point in adding a screen protector to the touch devices? Or is the screen reasonably resistant to scratching?

    • I’ve never personally used screen protectors, and don’t treat my units with any amount of love either. They’re constantly tossed into the front of my backpack along with plenty of other random sharp objects/keys/etc…

  122. LesMc

    I know this is a Garmin thread, and it’s in poor taste to link out to external articles, so forgive me this once, but due to some inevitable comparisons with other head unit makers, specifically Wahoo, I found this article to be enlightening as to why they’ve fallen behind their competitors in some areas. The future doesn’t look too promising for the once darling upstart willing to take on an 800 lb gorilla. I hope they figure it out and make.it.

    link to road.cc

  123. Yulian

    Hi Ray,

    Currently 530 is on sale for 189 euro, 540 is 399 euro. Is it 200 euro better? I don’t have any for now.

    • Nuno Pinto

      If you do not have a GPS, the 530 is a great tool. You will not miss the fancy new features on the X40.
      Still I would try to find a 800, touch screen is really handy.

    • Hexafluoroplatinate

      The 530 is great and I wouldn’t sneer at it for anyone on a budget.

      If you have the money, ask yourself this:

      If you keep your bike computer for 5, 10 years: do you really want to be dealing with a device with MicroUSB in 2028, or 2033? …because the jump to the x40 series gives you USB-C…and MicroUSB *sucks.*

      The x40 series can be set-up, backed up, restored, and configured via your cell phone or tablet. You have to manually set-up all your profiles and datafields on the x30 series, right on the device. That gets obnoxious fast if you ever have to do a hard reset. (which can/does happen)

      The x40 series adds replaceable mount tabs in the even they break or wear out. While there are kludges to glue replacement tabs on the x30, non-replaceable plastic tabs never sat well with me.

      If you don’t care about any of the above, save yourself 200 Euros. 🙂

  124. Miloš Matůš

    Hi,
    here are my comments to the 840 solar:
    1. Where is Strava app for sync of routes? I cannot find it.
    2. There is only few CIQ application already compiled for 5/840 devices. I hope it will be improved soon.
    3. IQ store on the device: kind of disaster: tiny fonts – hard to see, no possible to search …
    4. The initial sync of profiles from the old to new devices will not sync CIQ data fields. But most of them is not ready for 840.

    Milos

    • Paul S.

      1. The Strava CiQ app was long ago replaced by direct connection to Garmin Connect. Star a route in Strava, and it automatically gets passed on to GC and on to the device.

      4 was exactly the problem that I had when moving to a 1040, so it’s not related to whether the CiQ field is compiled for the device. The profile sync worked great except for the 3 CiQ fields that I use which were not passed on. I had to download the CiQ fields to my 1040 and then manually fix each profile.

    • 2. Yeah, I continue to find Garmin’s approach here on Connect IQ apps silly. If the apps work on the Edge 530/830, then let them work on the Edge 540/840. Or, if they work on the 1040, then the same. At this point the whole ‘developer must check the box’ thing got old years ago.

      3. Also agree, the CIQ store on the device has potential, but it’s just so horrifically slow. I actually had a part in the video covering it (mostly making fun of it), but ended up cutting it out in my quest to get the video under 20 minutes (it was originally rough cut at 25ish).

      But otherwise, as Paul said, no reason for Strava CIQ app anymore, it just insta-syncs starred routes/segments.

    • Miloš Matůš

      Paul and Ray,
      thanks!
      Milos

  125. John Richards

    Nice review, i’m convinced, i bought one.
    Unfortunately, it does not find my stages r-crank PM. The l-crank PM is found and works, both l- and r- PMs connect to the stages App, and to my 530. I am on chat with Garmin to see if they have a fix.

    • Huh, that’s weird. I’ve been using the Stages LR with it, no issues there. That said, with Stages, the data is funneled through, so you only need to connect to one side.

    • John Richards

      I got it to work. I have separate L/R that are linked with software but both need to be linked. I had to turn off all my links (Phone, 530, 840, 945), do a reset of the R PM (battery out, touch neg and pos with side, battery in), then it showed up in the Phone App, i did a zero reset, and finally the 840 connected. Garmin chat support was not that helpful, the Stages www support had a section how to do this.

  126. Brian Feinberg

    Your mention of creating an event in the calendar on Garmin Connect made me curious about that feature, so I tried it, but the description is not quite correct. You wrote ” including uploading/specifying the exact course” – but when I created an event, the only courses available to select were three that I’d created on Garmin Connect itself, as an experiment a long time ago. No imported courses show up. Hmm, my imported courses are all from ridewithgps. I wonder if a Strava one would be different.

    • This is one of those weird quirks where for certain things, you have to select to ‘duplicate’ a course in Garmin Connect for various features to “see” it. For example, Power Guide is one, or editing a course to add Up Ahead waypoints, etc…

      Now, if you had “imported” a file, then it should have shown up immediately.

    • Brian Feinberg

      Ah, yes, that was it, thanks. That is, only by duplicating the course could I make it public, and only public courses showed up as available to be added to the event that I created.

  127. bigroots

    regarding solar … is it only me thinking that a simple use case is when you prepare for a ride and suddenly realise you forgot charging the bike computer? even if it does not refill the battery and is only capable of keeping the level steady, it would already be helpful.

    … am I the only one bad at keeping track of the charge state of all devices? (wearable, phone, headphones, bike lights, …)

    • Hexafluoroplatinate

      EVERYONE is bad a keeping track of charge state.

      SOME people have processes in place to mitigate that: have a multi-cord charger right next your bike storage station (indoors, garage, wherever) and plug all devices in to charge the moment you park the bike.

  128. acousticbiker

    Does ClimbPro free-ride work for MTB rides?

  129. Graham Wheeler

    Do you know if the new ClimbPro anywhere features will be coming to the Edge Explore 2 as well?

  130. fitz

    Did Garmin finally figure out sending courses to device mid-activity? This is such an inexplicable gap, given Wahoo allows it and that there is a way to do this on Fenix devices – but with Edge you still need to jump through multiple hoops to do this.

    • osobny

      Absolutely! Has this been sorted?

    • Yes, all Garmin x40 devices can instantly sync and receive courses, even during an activity.

    • osobny

      Wow, that’s THE IMPROVEMENT!
      Just yesterday had to re-route 530 ~60km from home in heavy rain, such painfully long experience again…
      For me – owning FR955 for all multi sport stats already – that feature to load new course mid-activity is really a selling point over 530/830.

    • osobny

      Guys,
      Tried it yesterday – it works flawlessly 🙂 You can create / upload new route during activity.
      Created new route on Strava mid acrivity -> synced to 840 within seconds midactivity, device was in auto pause.
      No more fiddling with extra gadgets, route numbers etc etc needed.

  131. Mike Whittaker

    I’m upgrading from a still reliable, but disintegrating 800, I’ve changed the battery (10 min job) 4 times and love I can simply do that. Will I be able to do that with an 840?

  132. Pamale Bacon

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  133. Georg

    Just did a testdrive with a new 840. Coming from the 530, everything seems to be better…but then the difference isn´t worth the 500EUR extra in my opinion. Thus I´ll stick with my good old 530 (not that old anyway). The only things I recognized are better with the 530 is the sleeker body and the display seems brighter.

    • tim

      Nice to hear opinions on comparisons of the two. I have an 840 on order due any day now and will see how well my observations line up with everyone else’s. I’m hoping for:

      -Slightly easier workflows using touch in some cases where 530 lacked that choice
      -Slightly better battery (even with non-solar) to hopefully allow less frequent charging if nothing else
      -Generally faster processor (route loading)

      Your screen brighter seems like a nice improvement if I see a difference.

      Did you think any usage of the device was “snappier” or more responsive? I’ve honestly been in the basement for like 6+ months so can’t recall fully, but know the 520 and 520+ were awful for loading routes. I feel like the 530 was better (but still not perfect) and hope the x40 models will be even better yet.

      I tend to hand down my old head unit to my wife (who has a 520+ right now) so even with minor differences I’m guessing I’ll keep it in order to get her on the 530 (honestly an impressively solid device several years in).

    • John Richards

      I have a 530, use(d) it a lot. Just got an 840. It sort of a completely different thing because of the interface. I like the buttons + touchscreen. I found it easier on my rides to use the touchscreen to move to screen, i never can remember the up/down buttons and the back button. On a ride I have almost identical data displays. I easily added a l/r PM balance and l/r 3s PM balance with the phone, i could not figure out how to do it on the 530. Most of the concepts are the same (connect to sensors; maps; …) I also found it was a lot easier to load a Strava route.

  134. marc vermill

    I wonder if the 1030 will be getting the new Anytime/Anywhere Climbpro feature that is on the newest Garmins? Have you heard anything or seen anything in the beta?

  135. TedP

    Just received my 840. Looks promising.

    But wow is the SW buggy out of the box! Trying to get it set up > multiple disconnects and errors between on screen prompts and what’s really happening / keeps trying to save a 0 mile ride that never happened / says out of memory / can’t find Wifi; disjointed set up loop between phone and PC / never prompted to synch sensors or profiles, etc, etc.

    I’ve had many Garmins and know what to do but sigh….

    • TedP

      looks like a v9.09 was available (in US). Maybe connect via PC / Garmin Express first to push updates, then synch to phone.

  136. Sikan

    Thanks for the great review, extremely insightful and informative, as always.

    Just received my 840, the first problem I’ve noticed is the charging port cover. Has anyone found the cover ridiculously loose? It opens with just a light touch. It seems that the rubber part is particularly short, and there is not enough friction to keep the cover tightly closed. Or is it just me?

  137. Jan Stahl

    Thanks for the review Ray.

    3 yrs ago switched over to the Wahoo Roam v.1 because I got tired of losing connection to the phone/GC app. In that regard I’ve been completely impressed with the Wahoo – it has never in 3 years lost a connection. Always works. Not so with my Garmin in the past. Any commonts about how that’s been with the new 840?

    Also love the readability and durability of my Roam screen. Any comparison of that to the 840?

    Thanks, Jan

    • It’s gotten a heck of a lot better in the last 2 years, even on existing Edge devices. Livetrack used to be a complete joke, I mean literally, I made jokes about it in reviews because everyone knew it would fail.

      But these days both myself and my wife use it on every ride without issue, her on her Edge 830, and me on the Edge x40 series. The Edge x40 series is better than the x30 series from a connectivity standpoint, as it ditches the problematic dual-legacy Bluetooth/BLE scheme, and goes with a cleaner and more reliable connection.

      Readability-wise, I’ve been using it with the ROAM V2 side by side and don’t see any meaningful differences in visibility/clarity in normal backlight modes (Auto). If you turn it all the way down, then the ROAM can be a bit better/more clear. However, I will say that taking a photo of the Edge units is always a @#$@# with reflections, but it’s not something your eyes actually see.

    • Jan

      Ok, I bought the 840 and have been using it for a few days. I’m a Wahoo Roam V1 user currently and here are my observations: the 840 is just plain annoying. I had them both on my handlebars today and the 840 just kept notifying me and warning me and it’s just too much. Most of the new features other than ClimbPro are just too much for a serious cyclist to care about. Maybe if you’re a techno-cyclist who cares about the gadgets more than the experience of riding you’d care but if you want to be present for the riding experience, the Garmin is just annoying. It’s a show-off of useless technology. “Nice jump Jan” is just not something I need to hear from my device. Anyway, from a hardware perspective, the Roam is so much easier to see as well. The font is bigger, it’s much more visible in the shade (about equal in bright sun). And having power show on the LEDs is just so useful when you’re on any screen if you train and ride/race with power. I’m returning my unit tomorrow and sticking with the simple Roam which does everything simply and well and is readable in all lighting and connects everytime and just plain works.

    • John Richards

      I have the Wahoo Roam (5004?), Garmin 530, 945, and 840; speed sensor; dual power. I have posted earlier about issue i had with the Wahoo on GPS and/or mileage. The three Garmin’s agree on all of these, and agree with Strava, MTB, Avenza, and Google maps on mileage and location. The Roam is off on distance and exact GPS location. I tried to fix this with Wahoo support and they did not have an answer; or i should say their answer was to put my tire size, but this did not help. I think it might be doing 3 or 4 s samples of GPS, though at times it was just wrong. I initially had the 945 (watch) and the Roam and had these issues; I got nearly completely lost on Croft’s MTB trails because of the Wahoo issues and even was in a bit of “danger”, saved only by my cell phone maps. I bought the 530 and it worked swell. I still use(d) the Wahoo (and the 530) on new MTB routes because the display and map display were easier for me. I find the 840 to display and map as well as the Wahoo; does the power widgets/displays better than Wahoo,; maps are more accurate when GPS might be an issue. I’m not really interested in an argument about both, only to state that i have been very happy with the 840.

    • John

      Coming from a Wahoo Bolt v2 and I have to agree with all of your points. I have basically turned off every extra feature, I actually even turned Climb Pro off too, definitely don’t need that on my usual training loops (annoying tbh). I mentioned in a previous comment that I purely bought if for the battery life which it totally delivers on, hopefully i’ll manage to tune it to my needs as it seems pretty customisable. The workout page is a joke, who the heck uses distance as an interval metric? Can’t believe it’s the main uneditable data field on that screen.

    • ekutter

      John, have you tried creating a custom “workout” page? Just create a fully customized page rather than using their Workout layout? I basically never do workouts, so not sure if the fields you can choose are the ones you want, but I know with things like Stamina, they have the stock Stamina page, but each field can be added to regular data pages as well.

    • John

      Hey thanks, I have made a custom page for my workouts now. Just a super simple one with lap time, 3s power and lap average power. It’s not totally ideal but better than the stock one. Cool that you can make custom pages.

      Always takes a bit of getting used to new hardware and software. Sure I will adapt soon!

    • Marcin

      The distance thing is kind of stupid for a default, but what this really is, is just a space for secondary workout targets (like cadence along power). If you don’t use secondary targets, you can mimic or create an even better workout page, like it seems you already did. It can be made almost identical with all the graphing, target visuals, progress bars, and such.

      The situation is actually similar with the Stamina page. I only wish I could also take elements from the cycling analytics page. Power phase visuals are neat, but I really don’t care about the rest of the page or it could be summarised with two text fields 😉

  138. Fabio

    Great review as usual.. but the question is always the same.. when you load a route, seems impossible view the complete altimetry profile .. as happen on the recap before the start . Ok the climb pro and the list of climbs is a great help.. but you don t have the complete overview of where are you and what you will expect..
    Any news about it?

  139. Thomas De Jaeger

    For me, the suggested daily workout is different on the Edge 840 compared to my Epix Gent 2, although both are synced with Connect. Does this take a couple of days for the two to align completely? (E.g. today: Treshold 1:05 on the Edge 840 and Base 1:42 on the Epix.)

    • Huelsi

      Same applies to me. Also interesting that it takes quite a while to synch the recovery time after a workout (around 4-5 hours on my end)

    • It seems to be oddly hit or miss.

      Sometimes they’re identical, and then yet today, it’s not. For example, the Instinct 2X (with Training Readiness of 3) told me to ‘Rest’ in the Morning Report, and then concurrently gave me a 90 minute ride and 40 minute ride. Both the Edge 540/840 are telling me to rest. So…yeah.

      Though, the Physio True-Up type metrics all sync seemingly instantly.

    • Kuifje777

      Do you have any experience using the adaptive training for an extended period of time? I would be keen to replace my TrainerRoad subscription, but found it scary to do as I could not see the full training plan up to the event on my 955.

  140. John

    Do you know if it will keep a route updated on the device if I modify it on Strava?

    • No, it won’t. I’m not sure where the specific issue there. If that’s a Strava issue, a Garmin Connect/platform issue (doesn’t update that either), or an Edge issue. Either way, it won’t update.

      What I do instead is when I update, I just put ‘V2’ after the end of it on Strava (or V3/etc…), and then it instantly pushes a new course. Obviously adds clutter, but, at least it works.

  141. NP

    I’ve managed to buy a Garmin edge 1030 plus for 300 GBP, the 840 (non solar) retails for 450 GBP. Is the 840 worth the 150 GBP premium? What are the main feature missing from the 1030plus?

  142. Vid

    hi,
    I have a question: Can you have ClimbPro without planing a route on explorer 2, just like on 540/840? I am in between buying Explorer 2 and 840 – 240 € vs 460 € it is a big price gap…
    thanks for help.

  143. Tom Bartman

    Just in case anyone else has this question, I got mine the other day. I have PowerTap P1 pedals, and they connected flawlessly. In fact, the main reason I got this unit was that I was using an Edge 810 where the battery life was kaput, but even with good battery it kept losing the connection to my power pedals during a ride. I did my first ride with the 840 with zero hiccups.

    And, what a difference 10 years makes (the 810 came out in 2013). 🙂

  144. Jan

    Just chatted with Garmin support. Apparently the graphical power fields that are available on the device stock (not through GCIQ) are based on instantaneous power not a 3sec average like most computers. I find this number not very useful as it’s all over the place. The only way to get 3sec average is to put that number in a field box but then you don’t see which zone you’re in graphically. Much prefer the Wahoo LED system where you can at a glance tell which zone you’re in. Very disappointing. Any one have a solution other than the very complicated fields available in GCIQ?

  145. MarkL

    I was disappointed that it’s not supported by Supersapiens yet but this hack worked for me.
    link to the5krunner.com

  146. nick

    For other users – I am new to Garmin and just got 840 (coming from Bolt v1). The climb pro – should it be automatically going to that screen? That’s my understanding and looks like I Have it setup that way. However, I just get the “GO” green button which I click, and nothing. I have to scroll over to ClimbPro screen. Is that expected behavoiur or did I do somethng wrong or something not working?

  147. John

    Just getting used to the 840 this week. Have turned off so many features , I basically bought it for the battery life though. I do lots of structured training and find the workout screen borderline unusable. The largest (uneditable) data field being for distance is just bizarre. Also, there seems to be no ability to have auto pause on during work outs which sucks on my ride out to my interval spot.

  148. George M.

    Great review. I’m interested in your opinion on the following: I’m very interested in the 840 solar. I’m riding across the USA and mostly camping, so keeping Garmin, lights, phone, headlamp, etc. charged will definitely be an issue. I will be riding about 120km/day for at least 2 months. Would you use the 840 solar, or the regular 840 with the external battery? Your thoughts?

  149. mgr

    Just wondering, isn’t Shimano STEPS supported on Edge 830 as well?
    Or is there some extended level of STEPS support with the new 840?

  150. Ulrich

    Have a problem with the power data with my 840:
    Shown power data have a significant time gap. When giving/reducing power the changes are shown 10-15 seconds later (actual power, no x s average).This appears both with „power“ data field and „power“ graphic. In the graphic the graph seems ok but the numbers show time gap…
    With that time gap power data are unusable during ride.
    Ride statistics / graphs after ride seem ok.
    I use Garmin vector3 as power meter.
    Any help / good advice to fix that?

    • osobny

      Nothing like that with stages nor inpeak in mine… I would suggest to check fw update and hard reset.

    • Arne

      Do you have Inpeak powermeter that works with Garmin 840? Are you using BT or ANT+? I have Inpeak crank that doesn’t connect as BT at all and very infrequently connects as ANT+ then connection drops very often. Unusable.

    • osobny

      Arne,
      Ant+ in my case, inpeak works flawlessly. However, stages is paired on ble. Actually sensors were copied during initial 840 installation, made no any change and everything works OK.

    • Ulrich

      I fixed the problem with:
      – setting the 840 back to factory settings
      – during installation I didn’t let sensor data being copied but paired every sensor manually („search for new sensors“ -> „coupling“)
      After that power reading of the Garmin Vector3 pedals was accurate.
      Maybe this Tipp is helpful for other users having this issue.

  151. Kyle Lehenbauer

    I’m in the habit of syncing my Edge with Garmin Express on my laptop but my laptop doesn’t have a USB-C port. Is there any reason to sync the 840 with Garmin Express? I also have the Epix 2 watch and have been syncing that regularly with Garmin Express since it has a regular USB cable. In the past, I think I remember Ray saying that was the only way to get updated data on where GPS satellites were predicted to be.

    • Paul S.

      A – C cables are easily found. Or use a C->A adapter on one end if it’s a C-C cable.

      I think you still have to do map upgrades via computer. I plug my 1040 into my old MacPro after every ride (using a GoPro C-A cable), but the syncing has already been done (well, almost always) via WiFi so I’m just doing it to charge it back to 100%. I’ve also been populating my 1040 with my routes downloaded as GPX files directly from Strava so that requires a computer. Everything else I can think of doesn’t require a computer.

    • John Richards

      Amazon usb-c converter, or google usb-c converter. Funny, i bought a new computer a few weeks ago and had to use converters to connect the 530 to the computer; now have a usb-c to usb-c.

      I do map upgrades on the Garmin Express. Otherwise I do most of the “connection” to the phone Garmin Connect app. Garmin Connect can export to Strava, MyFitness apps, etc. Garmin Connect can load routes and other info to the 840 (530, 945). I have done display-page modifications on the Garmin Connect app. I also use the www Garmin Connect site to get information about rides, and other stuff. I have a 840 and 945, so both go through the phone app and the www site.

  152. Jeff

    Just got the new Edge 840, coming from the Wahoo Bolt for the last couple of years. Couple quick questions:

    1. Is there a way to add color to the power and heart rate screens to reflect zones. The Bolt version 2 I’m coming from allowed that, which was a nice feature. Currently on my main screen on the 840, everything is just black and white. I have no idea how to add any colors to any of the data fields
    2. I notice from the Climbing screen in the review above has some additional data fields that I can’t seem to add to mine. Is there a way to add power and cadence data to that screen? Currently, mine is set for 2 data fields and it won’t let me change that to add more fields.

    Thx!

    • Terry Jones

      I use MyEdge from connectIQ as my default screen. The HR field on this app changes colour based on zone. I’m not riding with a power meter but would assume the power numbers will do the same. Agree that Garmin should do the same with their fields.

    • osobny

      Check out PowerSlider and HR Slider from bjarnib 🙂
      In connect IQ shop, that is.

  153. Ric

    What Brightness setting did you have your 840 during this video?
    It looks nice and bright (looks similar to what my 830 looks like)… I could not get my 840 solar to look that nice and bright. I have tried 100% brightness, always backlit… even then it looks dark, opaque and dull.
    And when I had it at 100% brightness, it gives me a battery live (at 100% power) of only 5-6 hours !!!!
    I have had the 830 since it launched, the 820 before that and so on… and never once had to think about screen brightness setting!
    Any thoughts?
    Will the Non Solar unit be brighter?
    Thanks

  154. ren

    works new climbPro free ride with other map? OPENMTBMAP ?

  155. Julien

    Hi Ray,

    Just had a very bad experience today, my 2 hours ride vanished while syncing with Garmin Connect… nothing to be found on the Edge 840 and also nothing in Garmin Connect. Read somewhere that this could be caused by having reached the limit of 200 activities, but the device is brand new and I’m of course not in this situation. However, connecting it to my laptop, I am astonished to see that it only has 1.16Go free space over 28.9Go! And most of the storage is used by 10 different map (.img) files, in addition to a huge “SQL” folder (8.2Go). Could you please shed some light on this? I would especially be interested in finding out which map files could be removed when leaving in Europe, as I’m guessing most of those are totally irrelevant for me but the names really don’t help (what are gmapprom, gmapprom1, gmapprom2 and gmapprom3 suppose to be???). I feel like freeing up some space would be beneficial, even if I doubt that this is the reason why I lost my ride.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • osobny

      Hi Julien,
      Mine arrived with US map installed, European distribution… Have removed it via garmin express, not needed in my case. Check it out.

    • Julien

      Thanks, did that too. Still a lot of space wasted because I am leaving in Switzerland, near the French border, and both countries are not on the same sub-map of Europe… So, I have to keep whole Europe, unless there is a way to do a “country by country” selection in Garmin Express? Riding again tonight, I will see if my activity is transferred properly.

  156. Simon

    Does the Garmin Edge 840 finally really support the popularity layer?
    I have been on the Edge 830 and the Epix 2, however on the Epix, the popularity layer is much more detailed and full featured than on the Edge. On the Epix, I see many purple lines in all kind of shades, on my Edge I only see a hint of purple on the most traveled routes. I dont get why there is such a difference between those two and this would be a selling point for mountain biking.

  157. Gary Freed

    Ray,
    Is there a way to pair HRM from my apple watch ultra to 840?
    I would even be ok if I could “merge” strava activities of ultra and edge so HR and power are included.
    Thanks!
    Gary

    • Roman

      There are 3rd party apps like ECHO, HeartCast, BlueHeart and many more. I have never used any of them though, so I can’t tell if they are working well. For cycling activities I prefer Polar H10.

    • Paul S.

      I’ve tried a few on various AW’s (currently an Ultra) over the years, and they never work. As you say, you’re much better off with a chest strap.

  158. Arnaud T

    Hi,
    Thanks a lot for this great and complete review! It helps a lot!

    Do you know if Garmin put their new units on Amazon quickly, usually ?
    Just trying to spend an Amazon gift card… But can’t wait more as next cycling events are coming in may 😉

    Thanks again,
    Best,

  159. Wojtek

    Hi, what about the extended display? Is this still so bad as on 530? I mean 2 predefined fields (total time, lap time) and up to 4 data fields for watch, ignoring all data screens having more than 4 fields on the watch?

  160. Jared

    Has anyone witched from an Element Roam to the 840 and missed the screen? I just bought an 840 and am having doubts. I have not taken it for a ride yet but in my house the Roam screen seems a lot more readable.

    • John Richards

      Jared. I’ve made these comments before, but…. I started with a Garmin 945 watch and Element Roam. There was a substantial discrepancy between the 945 and Roam on GPS, distance, route, location. Generally, the 945 was consistent with MTB maps (Strava, MTB, …) and the Roam was off. I got lost in Croft SC State Park with the Roam (and was unsafe) and had to use my phone to find my place. I bought a Garmin 530 and the 945, 530, MTB, etc were all consistent, and the Roam was off. Wahoo support was unhelpful. I used to ride with the 530 for distance and the Roam for map. Not only was the display better on the Roam, but the map was better. I now have the 840. Garmin 945, 530, 840, and MTB maps all agree on GPS. The maps “display” on 840 is very good, could be used alone. However, when riding a new MTB route, i’ll keep the Roam on the bike for map, and the 840 for the rest. The 945 (watch) is almost useless for map.

  161. Jared

    I bought an Edge 840 and have a Marq Gen 2. All metrics seem to be coming over to the watch after a ride except calories burned. Does anyone else have this issue? Thoughts on how to fix it? Garmin support did not know and are opening a case

  162. copy andpaste

    i bought it and return it the second day: the wifi was showing transfer but then sync failed… under 2.4, 5 all settings… no go… and the way it looks with the huge edges, like a device from 2005 not 2023! (no wonder is named edge… )

    • Volker

      WiF/Garmin:
      Wi-Fi Network Requirements:

      Supported Frequency: 2.4 GHz only
      Security: Unencrypted, WEP, WPA, and WPA2

      Seems to better, that you have returned it, if you don’t like the look…

  163. TALIA SMITH

    You have the most detailed reviews on cycling computers that I can find! Oftentimes it seems you give more information than the actual company website!
    I do have 2 questions- for anyone here that may know.
    1. Can the 840 connect to BLE? Specifically, I’m wondering if I can connect my whoop HR monitor to the device. It does not connect to my old garmin 520 so I’m looking yo upgrade to a device that it will connect to.
    2. Is there any color coding of live HR or power zones like there is on wahoo’s new bike computers? Like can you set it to red for when you’re in threshold, etc?
    Thanks for any responses!

  164. Daniel

    I’m not sure if it was the update that came out about 10 days ago or what, but my 840 is a complete mess right now. I think it’s the operating system—I did a 290-mile bikepacking race and everyone with a 1040 or 840 had tons of trouble. Lots of freezing and non-responsiveness; climbpro kind of working but not really; can’t turn the “prompt” for recalculation off so it covers up your screen. Probably gonna return it if it doesn’t get better soon.

    • Talia Smith

      That’s good to know! I will standby on buying one. It’s crazy to hear of all these issues. My Garmin 520 I bought old and have been using for a couple years now and haven’t had any issues other than it freezing twice (hard restart fixed it right away and was able to resume ride). It seems the more advanced the tech, also the more problems sadly.

    • Tom

      I’m having a ton of problems too. Freezing and non-responsiveness, weird overlays/alerts that can’t be dismissed, random loss of chunks of data in the middle of activities that almost seem like the activity was paused even though it wasnt, and on and on and on.

      I’m in the same boat. If it doesnt get fixed fast, I’ll have to send it back. For the first time in my life I’m riding with both an 830 and 840 because the 840 is such a mess.

      I’ve submitted bugs to Garmin and they dont even respond.

      I purchased a 1040 last year and ultimately returned it because it had so many problems. I attributed this to being an early adopter of a new device. I figured that 10 months was enough time for Garmin to sort things out and the 840 would be trouble free at launch.

      Essentially everyone I know that bought one of these is having problems. The glacial pace of updates and fixes has the appearance of this simply not being a priority for them. I hope that isnt the case but it sure seems that way.

    • osobny

      That’s really strange. Riding with mine second week now, shortest distance – 50km, longest so far 100km base ride on mixed surfaces, navigating and re routing… Guess ~8 activities recorded so far.
      No ANY issue experienced. Works great with my two power meters, no freezing, nothing but reliable behavior…
      Perhaps it’s copy dependent, and got proper functioning one 😉

    • John Richards

      Me also, 840. Two PM, speed, HRM. All works flawlessly, and is a huge improvement over 530. I would say the majority of the posts are happy with the 840. Maybe you have a bad unit?

  165. Maciek

    Hi Ray,
    Is there “Resume Later” option known from new watches ?
    Or can we sync new courses when activity is paused ?

  166. Kasper

    Is there any possible way to mute the fanfare at the top of the climb i Climbpro? All other sounds are fine, but that one just annoys me…

  167. Roman Akert

    One useful feature I was hoping for is display field customisation, in particular making fields bigger (as Wahoo) for those of us that don’t have perfect vision.

    Unless I’ve missed something the lack of this will count these new units out for me.

  168. Erik

    Thanks for the great review! I have a question: can you view the map to see where you are going without hitting ‘start’ or recording? Similar to the dash map display in a new car, always passively there, letting you know the lay of the road ahead?

    My old Garmin 520 was painfully slow at mapping/navigating, to a point that I ended up avoiding the effort to create a course and only used the device to record metrics. Today, I don’t record my metrics anymore as I don’t have a strong desire to review later. I would only be interested in mapping location (currently phone is used for mapping, but it’s limited).

    With the zippier 840 and dual satellite tech, this sounds like it could be a great unit for backcountry and curious if it can be used more effortlessly as just a map?

    Thanks again for all the great reviews, very detailed, much appreciated!

    • Yes, you can. If you simply zoom out, you’ll see the map of the route.

      The Edge 520 indeed loaded painfully slow. The 530 and others improved that a fair bit, but the x40 series is far faster now.

      The only problem with using the 840 for non-cycling backcountry (assuming that’s what you’re talking about), is that it has cycle-maps on it (including MTB/bike trails/etc), but not other hiking-type maps. So you’re not going to get all the trails out there.

  169. N Catling

    Hi,
    I’m just wondering why the Device to Device transfer was removed on the 840, this is something that comes in handy from time to time.
    I can’t find anything as to why garmin removed it.

  170. Holger

    Hello Ray,

    First: Thank you for all your in-depth testing!
    I have a question related to improving my route planning for certifications or longer distances. Especially at night there are often only a few supply points, which it is very stupid to miss. Waypoints are a good solution there, I’ve already looked at that in Garmin Connect and there I could add them to the route (unfortunately the Google Maps map material there is not as detailed as with RWGPS, you can see gas stations or something better there, which is open at night…).
    Can I also be warned when I approach such a waypoint or do I only see it in the list?
    If, for example, I had to take a detour to a gas station that is next to the route and I can’t see it, I could drive past it, maybe very tired, if I wasn’t actively informed in some way. Sure, I could just be careful, but that’s not so easy when I’m tired etc., which is why I wish for a helper. If this function could be explained in more detail, I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who would be very grateful.
    Setting the waypoints in GarminConnect (with a suitable category) during preparation and simply synchronizing them would be a dream…

    Thank you, Holger

    right now I’m unsure whether (touch)1040 or (touch and keys) 840 because of the small price difference and since 2017 Wahoo users…. The larger screen is very attractive…

    • Nuno Pinto

      I recently did a utra-distance gravel race and had the same questions as you.
      There are 2 things you can do that help you navigate to the next place:
      -Waypoints
      -Course Points

      -Waypoints: are just used when you select it on the EDGE and then navigation is calculated to it, you can also look at the list and see how far you are. I created several waypoints (restaurantes, fuel stations) using google map, and then exported it to XML
      -Course points: can only be created on garmin connect mobile with a track already selected. Those course points will show up on the track/EDGE when in navigation mode, and also on the fields, NEXT WAYPOINT, DESTINATION to WAYPOINT.
      Biggest limitation of waypoints is that it must on the track, so you cannot create a coursepoint 50mt away from the track.
      Hope this help.
      In addition, I also had a IQ APP on the EDGE with notes, list of stops and distance, so that I could look on the screen without stopping.

    • Holger

      Hello, thanks for the Tipps. Which device do you use for this? I am aware of the disadvantages of the coursepoints, namely the connection to the route. However, it would be the easiest way to simply import the route received from a brevet etc. (which you cannot change) into Garmin Connect and then set the appropriate coursepoints there that you consider important based on your own research. For points off the track, a note should be ok, even if the 15-character limit is unfavorable.

      The navigation to the waypoints directly would generate its own, possibly different navigation of the Edge, or am I missing something? Nevertheless, it would be interesting for me how exactly you get the points on the edge.

      The idea with the IQ app is also good..

      Is it possible to get your own POI on the Edge regardless of the route and set a proximity warning? That might be even better especially for late changes of the route.
      Thanks!

    • Nuno Pinto

      I am using a 1040.
      It is possible to get a list of POI, it is a matter of copying the GPX file to the EDGE (new_file folder).
      I use GARMIN BASECAMP, free software for MAC or WINDOWS to generate/edit the POI.
      I also used google maps to create POI and then export it in a KMZ file, that can then be imported in BASECAMP, and from there to a GPX into EDGE….many steps, but is the way I did it.

  171. John Mackenzie

    Absolutely loving the 840 after adjusting to it from the Bolt v2.

    Couple of major niggles/gripes.

    1. No auto pause during workouts, I live in a city and this absolutely sucks. I know others have moaned about this wigh other Garmin devices.

    2. No matter what I do I can’t get my Training Peaks calendar to sync on the 840, it is always days or weeks out. So weird as it is fine on my Garmin watch and the app. Has anyone had/got this issue? Is there a fix? Customers services were no use so asking the DC hive mind.

    • Grant

      Hi John,

      thinking about doing the same but torn to either get the Roam v2 or a 840..

      I mainly do structured workouts from TP and focus on the numbers.. Crap you can’t auto pause as have the same issue if you hit traffic or a junction Mid interval.

      Can you pause the workout but keep the timer running like on wahoo? I want to be able to pause the interval and go back and forth workout steps if you want to repeat a rep or get stuck in traffic to!

  172. Stewart Patrick

    Hey Ray, I know you said you can upload the Europe maps to the 540 but can you delete them off of the 840 to free up more space? Thanks!

    • Yup!

      Using Map Manager is the best/cleanest way. Takes just two seconds to offload them. You can always add them back later if you need to.

    • Poiresportif

      This is exactly what I had to do with the 840 as there was not enough space for both Trail Forks and the Europe map (I am US based). When I travel to Europe, I will swap the European map for trail forks. As has been brought up previously, I would love Garmin to make it possible to add regional US maps and/or European region//country maps – ideally at even higher resolution. Nevertheless, agree with the other comments that the 840 is an excellent upgrade for this previous 530 user.