Hot (compared to the Edge 1030 Plus)
- Solar charging extends battery life
- Custom ride profiles for road, gravel, MTB, and indoor trainer
- Up Ahead feature prompts for important information about locations coming up in a course (e.g., water, bike shop, café)
- Connectivity to a variety of sensors, including Varia radar and lights, Rally pedals, Shimano Di2, and smart trainers
- Coach Me feature suggests daily workouts based on training load and VO2 max history
- eBike support for Shimano STEPS sensor
- Trailforks app mapping for MTB
- Back mount metal (instead of plastic) eliminates the tabs from getting stripped or dogeared
- Excellent Garmin US-based customer service
- Screen readability while paused
- Slight increase in weight
- More features than a typical rider will use
Price: $599.99 (Edge 1040); $749.99 (Edge 1040 Solar)
Size: 2.3″ x 4.6″ x 0.8″
Screen: Size: 3.5″ diagonal
Display resolution: 282 x 470 pixels
Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, WiFi
USB connection: USB-C
Battery type: Rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life: 45 hours, longer depending on settings, pairings, features in use (see full details here)
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
Spend more time biking with longer battery life and more features
Garmin released their Edge 1040 Solar cycling computer on June 8, 2022, and I received my demo unit shortly after. I guess some of the first units had software bugs, as my demo unit wouldn’t completely shut off, thus draining the battery. The company quickly swapped out the unit, and I haven’t had a problem ever since.
Who should consider purchasing this new solar edition with the high price tag and extended battery life? In my opinion, it’s perfect for ultra-distance riders, like randonneuring, those that use navigation a lot, including Up Ahead, or racers who find Real-Time Stamina data valuable. Oh yes, also a cyclist who doesn’t want to be bothered charging a computer very often.
Top new features of the Edge 1040 Solar
Garmin added some key features to the new Edge, an upgrade from the Edge 1030 Plus I reviewed back in May 2021, using it almost exclusively until receiving the new 1040 Solar.
• Solar charging: The Power Glass solar charging lens extends battery life, providing up to 100 hrs in battery saver mode or up to 45 hrs in demanding use cases. During daytime rides, it adds up to 42 min/hr in battery saver mode and up to 20 min/hr in demanding use cases
• Multi-band GNSS technology: Receive better positional accuracy and coverage, even in the most challenging environments like dense tree cover and urban areas with tall buildings.
• Cycling ability and course demands: Understand your cycling strengths and weaknesses, focus on improvement and prepare for the demands of a specific course.
• Power guide: Recommended power targets make it easier to manage efforts throughout a course.
• Real-time stamina insights: Monitor and track exertion levels in real-time during a ride.
• SHIMANO Steps eBike system compatible: View a dedicated eBike status screen, data fields and support for system status and warning messages. Even see assist level, gear position, battery life and more during a ride.
• Sturdier aluminum mount on the back of unit: Garmin upgraded the back from rubber to aluminum, no more worries about striping or dogeared tabs – 1030 Plus (left) vs 1040 Solar (right).
• Simple setup: Custom ride profiles prepopulate based on previous Edge data, ride types, and sensors. Then manage cycling activity profiles directly from the Garmin Connect app.
My side by side comparison
I mounted the 1040 Solar and the 1030 Plus to test them side by side on my road, gravel, and mountain bikes. On a typical 41-mile road ride, the Solar lost 3% of its battery while the 1030 Plus lost 7%. I connected all my sensors to both units (Varia radar, speed/cadence sensors, power meter, and D-Fly).
Then I tested it again on a century ride. This time I only connected the speed/cadence and power meter to the 1030 Plus 78% and kept all sensors connected to the 1040 Solar. When I finished my ride, the 1030 Plus lost 22% of its battery, and the 1040 Solar lost 20%. The 1040 Solar continued to charge while I rode, preventing all the sensors from depleting the battery even more.
|Specification||Edge 1040 Solar||Edge 1030 Plus|
|Size||2.3″ x 4.6″ x 0.8″||2.3” x 4.5” x 0.8”|
|Display resolution||282×470 pixels||282×470 pixels|
|Weight||133 g||124 g|
|Battery life||45 hrs*||24 hrs*|
* Depends on demand and mode
What’s in the box?
Standard in the box includes the Edge 1040 Solar head unit, a black silicone case to protect the unit, three mounts (MTB, Standard, and out-front), a USB-C charging cable, and a tether. Don’t laugh at the tether. It has saved me from losing my Garmin in the past, either during a crash or loading the bike in the car. The tether is not shown in the below picture because it was missing from the first unit sent. The second unit had it. Also, note the placement of the holes for the tether has changed, so it no longer goes through the charging port like the 1030 Plus.
While it’s nice to have solar charging capabilities and several cool new features, this is a pricey cycling computer. If it’s time to upgrade or you are looking for your first computer, the Edge 1040 Solar is worth a look. Just determine the type of riding you’ll be doing, what features you need, and your budget. This unit might be perfect for you, or one of the other excellent Garmin Edge models may work just as well for a little less coin —like the 1040 or 1030 Plus.
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.