- A large, highly readable color screen
- Designed for all types of riding; road, gravel, indoor trainer, and MTB
- Trailforks app integration is ideal for mountain bikers
- ClimbPro displays remaining ascent and grade when following a route or course
- Coach Me feature suggests workouts based on training load and VO2 max
- Connectivity to Varia™ radar and lights, Shimano Di2, Smart Trainers
- Longer battery life
- On-screen texts and incoming calls
- Nutrition and hydration alerts to stay fueled
- Excellent Garmin customer service
- Probably more features than you’ll ever use
Price: $599.99 (Device only), $699.99 (Bundle)
Size: 2.3” x 4.5” x 0.8”
Screen Size: 3.5” diagonal
Display resolution: 282 x 470 pixels
Weight: 4.4 oz (124g)
Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Battery type: Rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life: 24 hours
Compatible devices: See listing on Garmin.com
Detailed specs: See listing on Garmin.com
Availability: Online and retail
How obtained: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
Indoor or outdoor. Any terrain. Garmin Edge 1030 Plus has you covered.
Garmin launched the Edge 130 Plus and 1030 Plus at the same time. I reviewed the 130 Plus a while back and have been tinkering around with the 1030 Plus for a while. With over a dozen new features added from the previous version, I wanted to explore as many as possible before submitting my review. There were so many features available on the 1030 unit that I doubt anyone has used them all, and now they’ve added a dozen more. But it’s nice to know they’re there when you need them.
Over the past six months, I’ve used the Edge 1030 Plus on my road (outdoor and trainer), gravel, mountain, and fat bikes in all types of weather conditions. Many features are unique to each riding style, many I used, while other features I may never use but might be useful to other cyclists. For this review, I decided to focus on the functionality I liked the best or those that are unique.
Previously I was using the Edge 1000, so setup was pretty simple. Just add the device in the Garmin Connect app, pair the 1030 Plus with my phone, and customize any settings. Profiles and sensors used with previous Garmin devices are transferred over during setup. With each new Garmin product release, it seems to be easier to set up a new device. However, I would like to do more of the data screen setup through my phone instead of on the device.
Display Resolution & Touchscreen
From the first time I turned on the Edge 1030 Plus, I noticed the improved screen resolution. Garmin leveraged the technology used on the Edge 830 screen and made it bigger. The 282×470 pixels combine with a 3.5” color display to give even an aging rider with weaker eyesight a highly readable screen. The new screen has a more sensitive touchscreen than the previous model, and it’s very responsive even when wearing gloves.
As part of the new device, the 1030 Plus comes with free global maps, where past devices were region-specific. To accommodate the global maps, Garmin has increased storage for the unit from 16GB to 32GB.
While I didn’t travel outside the United States, I did test the 1030 Plus navigation capabilities on road, gravel, trail, and mixed terrain. When starting a route, the time it took for route calculations was slightly faster than my Edge 1000. Also, the audible beep signaling turns, sharp corners, and other notifications are significantly louder, which is helpful on busy roads or windy conditions.
To create routes, I predominantly use Strava or RideWithGPS and then upload the files to my Edge.
Another new feature of the 1030 Plus is off-course rerouting. When you head off-course, which I seem to do more often on gravel rides, three options are available. If you go off-course on purpose, the new pause navigation option is a nice feature to eliminate the constant notifications you are off-course. Then you can rejoin to resume your route by retracing your steps.
The other two options include:
- Skip ahead reroutes you back to the most efficient point on your course
- Cut across takes you to a logical re-entry point on your course
Integration with Strava was pretty seamless; however, I did have a few times where my rides wouldn’t upload, requiring manual file transfers. I’m not sure if it was a Garmin Connect or Strava issue when this occurred.
Trailforks App Integration
Another new feature with the 1030 Plus is the preloaded Trailforks app integration, which gives you trail details from more than 80 countries on the device. When stopped mid-ride, Forksight mode automatically displays upcoming forks in the trail and shows where you are within a trail network. I especially liked this feature when riding unfamiliar MTB trails. It’s easy to view trails by skill level (green, blue, and black).
Daily Suggested Workouts
With this unit, you can see how your body responds to training efforts by tracking VO2 max, recovery time, training load, training focus, and more. Looking at your training load and VO2 max, Garmin offers up a basic workout. With a touch of a button, you can decide to use the suggested training or decline. You can also upload training plans from third-party apps, like Training Peaks, into the 1030 Plus.
The Edge 1030 Plus also shows you how your body is holding up in different environments with heat and altitude acclimation, as well as in-ride notifications when it’s time to refuel or rehydrate.
For several years I’ve participated in an invitational ride out in Elizabeth, IL, called Ride the Ups and Downs. For Illinois, this ride is known for its abundance of climbing. This year we had 45mph crosswinds to contend with along with the hills. Oh, joy! The ClimbPro feature was helpful by allowing me to manage my effort on each of the seven significant climbs.
As I approached each climb, the ClimbPro page automatically came up, displaying where I was on the climb, distance, ascent, and average gradient remaining for that specific climb. As I pedaled up the climb, the data would continually update. Sometimes it was a blessing knowing I was almost at the top. Other times it was a curse knowing I had “how much left to climb?”
Currently, the 1030 Plus classifies a climb based on the following criteria:
- Climb distance in meters x average gradient (%) should be greater than 3,500
- A climb must be a minimum of 500 meters in length
- The average gradient must be a minimum of 3%
MTB Specific Features
In addition to Trailforks integration, mountain bikers can use the 1030 Plus for jump count, jump distance, and hangtime. Some of the other mountain bike features include Grit, which rates the difficulty of a ride using GPS, elevation and accelerometer data, and Flow, which measures how smoothly a cyclist descends a trail.
Extended Battery Life
I like the longer battery life of the Edge 1030 Plus and have yet to run out of power. With a combination of longer rides using navigation and adding sensors like the Varia rearview radar, HRM, speed/cadence, lights, and more, the extended battery life gives me peace of mind. Also, I don’t need to charge the unit as often as with my 1000. A feature my 1000 didn’t have was an audible beep when the unit was 100 percent charged, and then it automatically shuts off.
According to Garmin, in the above scenario, the 1030 Plus has up to 24 hours of battery life. Of course, it can vary depending on traffic conditions setting off the Varia radar frequently and the number of alerts generated when navigating a course.
Today, being safe on the road or trail has become even more critical. Many of the Edge units already offer these safety features, but always worth mentioning.
- Weather alerts– The last thing you want is to get caught in a thunderstorm. Weather alerts appear on the 1030 to keep you informed.
- Integration with Garmin’s Varia Rearview Radar and lights– I reviewed the Varia Rearview radar a while back and now use it anytime I’ll be riding in traffic. The number of vehicles overtaking you and their proximity are easy to view along the side of the 1030 Plus screen. An audible tone alerts you and is loud enough to hear in wind and traffic.
- Livetrack – Provides friends and family your real-time location, so they know exactly where you are on the route as well as the complete route.
- Group Livetrack – Keep tabs on up to 50 of your friends at one time with onscreen tracking.
- Incident detection – The Edge 1030 Plus automatically sends your location to preloaded emergency contacts if it detects an incident.
- Bike alarm – When you run inside for coffee or a nature break, set the alarm on the 1030 Plus. If the bike starts moving, an alert is sent automatically to your phone.
- Tether – This might not be on Garmin’s list of safety features, but it’s on mine. The Edge comes with a tether enabling you to attach it to the handlebars. If a crash occurs or the unit gets knocked off the mount, the tether keeps it from getting lost.
What’s in the box?
The 1030 Plus is available as a standard (device only) or a bundle. The standard package comes with the Edge 1030 Plus, mounts (standard and flush out-front), USB cable, tether, and manuals.
The 1030 Plus bundle includes everything in the standard package, plus an HRM-Dual, cadence sensor, and a speed sensor.
I tested just the standard package since I already have the HRM-Dual and sensors.
The Edge 1030 is worth the price tag for the rider that travels, is serious about training (indoor or outdoor) or rides different terrain. The battery life is also an excellent feature for those that are out for long or multiple day rides. During a typical month of riding, I probably use 40-50% of the features. But it is always good to know they are there if I need them in the future.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.
One annoyance (I’m sure it can be disabled) is the pop-ups like ClimbPro. I was cycling through a small town in southern Illinois (Cobden) looking for the small side street to take my out and onto my “main road”. ClimbPro suddenly presents this big multi-color wedge showing I was on a significant hill. DUH?!? That obscured my navigation data (I believe I knew I was on a significant hill…). More frequently I will be doing “an interval” and wanting to check stats. NO! Instead I see a mostly black screen showing an average of the previous 5 miles. Other thins like incoming messages, weather and other warnings, etc, are presented in dull dim gray over black (and not way to modify this). Otherwise, I do absolutely love my Edge devices!
Sheri Rosenbaum says
You can swip right or left to change screens. I have a D-Fly so use buttons on the hoods to switch the screen without removing my hands. As far as the black screen, I haven’t seen that. Suggest you contact Garmin support. They are fantastic and know their products.
What am I gaining from the 1030 over the 830 if all I need it for is touring and address to address turn by turn directions? Battery run time is not critical since when touring I have to charge it anyways, so I have a solar charger and a power pack for that not to mention any available wall outlets. I also don’t need the climb, trailforks or MTB features, nor the radar and light integration feature, weather would be nice but my cell phone could also do that, incident location and bike alarm could remotely be useful though the bike would be kept locked when not in use so not sure how if that stuff is important, Strava link is not important to me either. I’m leaning towards the 830 but any advice I would love to read about and consider recommendations. Thanks
Sheri Rosenbaum says
I always laugh when they advertise a mini-van with 25 cup holders. When do you need that many cup holders. But the van is great for hauling people and large loads. So with the Garmin Edge, suggest you go to the Garmin site and do a side by side comparison. See if the 830 meets all your needs.
How is the display in bright, direct sunlight especially when it comes to map readability? Do you have to shade it with your hands like you need to do with phone displays?
Sheri Rosenbaum says
I had no visibility issues in bright sunlight or night. I was amazed by the new screen clarity.
If concerned, I suggest going to your LBS that sells Garmin and take the unit outside. You can see for yourself.
I’ve been using the 1000 prior to and did have issues sometimes on bright sunny days. But not with the 1030 Plus.
Great review! I think the 1030 will be my next Garmin. Currently using the 810 and the maps are not very good. Color would be awesome too.
Sheri Rosenbaum says
Glad it was helpful
This unit, unlike the ordinary 1030, works with my long fingered gloves. A must here in Portland, OR.
The “Livetrack” is very popular with my wife so that means I like it too.
Seeing who is calling is a huge plus and you can also see messages or the fact that you received a voicemail.
I turned ClimbPro OFF as it really added nothing that I needed. In fact, all of the training metrics are of no use as I use TrainingPeaks to analyze my data.
Once I learned to turn navigation off, I only see the course points I out into the route and stopped getting all the extra meaningless course being given.
It has taken awhile to get this far but I’m very glad I bought this mew Garmin.
Sheri Rosenbaum says
Happy wife, happy life.