- Large touchscreen display that’s full-color and sunlight readable
- Very good battery life at up 20 hours on a single charge + works with new Garmin Charge battery pack
- Display incoming notifications from phone + has new rider-to-rider messaging service, LiveTrack, and GroupTrack
- Easy to use software with solid workout tracking + turn-by-turn navigation and pre-loaded maps
- Pairs with virtually all Garmin cycling accessories as well as devices from other brands
- Very expensive
- Doesn’t make many significant upgrades over the Edge 820
- Some glitches with Incident Detection
- Can only reply to text messages with Android (as of the date of this post)
Garmin is the undisputed leader when it comes to cycling computers. The Edge 1030 is a fantastic device, but it’s just too expensive.
Garmin 1030 Review – Overview & Design
The Edge 1030 is replacing the Edge 1000 as Garmin’s top-tier cycling computer. Think of the Edge 1030 as the Edge 820 with a few extra features and larger display. The 1030 has a 3.5” touchscreen, full-color display that has amazing visibility in sunlight, with or without sunglasses. I was shocked with the quality of the display on the Edge 1030. It’s fine on other cycling computers I’ve tested in the past, but the Edge 1030 definitely is a cut above the rest. The size of the display makes interacting with the device easy as well, which is exactly what you’re looking for when you’re cycling. It even has the ambient light sensor to dim and brighten the display based on your surroundings.
As for the rest of the design, it’s pretty standard for Garmin—start/stop button and a lap button on the front and a on/off/lock screen button on the side. Beyond that, the rest is all touchscreen. It still has the quick release mount on its underside and charges via MicroUSB. One thing that is new is that the Edge 1030 works with the new Garmin Charge battery pack [see on Garmin.com] to give riders even more battery life. The Edge has around 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, which already is better than the 820 and 1000. If you use the Charge battery pack, you’ll get up to an additional 40 hours of battery life and you can indeed use it while you’re riding. Clearly, most cyclists will not need this, but anyone that is doing a double century and other longer rides very well may appreciate this new accessory.
Garmin Edge 1030 Features
The Edge 1030 has everything that you’ve seen from other Garmin cycling computers in the past. It has GPS & GLONASS, an altimeter, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ANT+. It comes with pre-loaded cycling maps just like the Edge 820. It has turn by turn navigation, now with improved support for upcoming sharp turns (which actually ends up being helpful).
SEE ALSO: RIZKNOWS Sports & Outdoor Deals
It still supports LiveTrack and GroupTrack, but also now has a new rider-to-rider messaging service for others that are also using the Edge 1030. If you don’t know, LiveTrack is where others can watch your progress on a map, if you have your phone with you. GroupTrack is where you can see where your friends are during a ride if they have an Edge computer that supports GroupTrack. The new messaging service will allow you to communicate via pre-written messages. We don’t see this as a game changer, but if you’re cycling in larger groups, it may come in handy.
The Edge 1030 also works with darn near every Garmin cycling accessory out there and many others from 3rd party brands such as Shimano. It works with heart rate sensors, speed/cadence sensors, power meters (including the new Vector 3), and the Varia Rear View Radar System, and many others. It still has Round Trip Routing where the device will create three different courses for you if you don’t want to pick them yourself. Basically, you select a distance and Garmin will find you a round trip route. Good stuff.
In terms of tracking your cycling workouts, there’s not really anything on the Edge 1030 that you haven’t seen before. You get the basic stats, plus if you’re using certain power meters you’ll get wattage, details about left/right balance, cadence, and cycling dynamics. You’ll also get estimates for cycling VO2 Max and Functional Threshold Power. The Edge 1030 also supports various apps through Connect IQ, including STRAVA and TrainingPeaks, where you can create or download custom training plans.
Bottom line with the Edge 1030 is it has all of the bells and whistles, including solid battery life, but in terms of features, there’s nothing revolutionary about this device. Nearly everything you get on the 1030 you can get with the far more affordable Edge 820 [see on CleverTraining.com – No Tax (excl. FL) ]. If you really think you’ll use rider-to-rider messaging or you want the 3.5” display, then you may look into the Edge 1030. Otherwise, save your money and check out the Edge 820, Explore 820, or Edge 520.