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Garmin launches the Edge 1040 Solar, the brand’s first solar charging bike computer

Emma Cole
8 Jun 2022

Garmin’s newest bike computer boasts even more metrics, better battery life and improved GPS

Garmin today launches the Edge 1040, a solar powered bike computer with improved battery life, GPS and integrated performance conditioning metrics.

The unit’s 3.5-inch touchscreen display is the same size as the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus, but the brand’s latest bike computer is unique as it is Garmin’s first solar charging unit.

Weighing a claimed 126g, the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar features all the usual and expected functionality but includes plenty of new metrics such as the ability to classify rider strengths and weaknesses, recommended session power targets and tracking real time exertion levels.

A key update is to the user interface, which has historically been less intuitive than competitors such as Wahoo.

Garmin says on the 1040 Solar the user experience has been simplified and modernised. For example, activity profiles can apparently be managed directly on a smartphone from the Garmin Connect app.

The Edge 1040 Solar is available to buy now for £629.99. A non-solar charging version is also available for £519.99, the same price as the Edge 1030.

Battery life and solar

According to Garmin, the Edge 1040’s battery lasts for seven days, and eight hours a day in any single use.

Compared with the Edge 1030 Plus which only offers 24 hours of battery life, this is a considerable upgrade.

The Edge 1040 Solar features a Power Glass solar charging lens which Garmin says extends the battery life to up to 100 hours in battery saver mode, giving cyclists an additional 42 minutes per hour during daytime riding.

It also has storage and power capacity for 200 hours of activity data.

Improved GPS performance

It’s not just battery life that has been improved.

The 1040 has integrated multi-band GNSS technology, which Garmin says provides more accurate GPS positioning in more remote and challenging ride environments, such as built-up urban areas or the depths of a forest.

Mapping and route planning functionality has also been upgraded.

The 1040 uses data gathered from other users uploading routes to Garmin Connect, the brand’s app, and highlights these as popular roads and trails.

This means that riders can generate ride-type-specific maps, and ultimately create cycle friendly routes using other rider’s well-trodden paths.

All the performance data, and then some 

When paired with compatible sensors, the Garmin says the Edge 1040 Solar can provide a host of performance enhancing insights and data.

For instance, the computer’s power guide gives the rider recommended power targets. Garmin says this should make it easier to manage efforts throughout a course.

What’s more, the computer can build a picture of a rider’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing it to suggesting areas for improvement.

The 1040 also monitors and tracks exertion levels in real-time during a ride and provides insights from Firstbeat Analytics, an analytics software which Garmin acquired in June 2020.

It shows users useful data such as VO2 max, recovery time, training load and training focus.

Just like Garmin’s Instinct 2S Solar watch, the 1040 Solar also offers daily workout suggestions based on the user’s current training load and VO2 max.

As has been standard on Garmin computers since the tech’s first release on the Edge 530 and Edge 820 in 2019, the newest model also includes the brand’s climbing application, ClimbPro.

ClimbPro lets riders see the remaining ascent and grade for each climb when following a course and review their performance on the climbs post-ride.

Interface update

A final new feature worth mentioning is that Garmin has reconfigured its user interface.

According to Garmin, once the device is turned on riders will receive prepopulated custom ride profiles based on their previous Edge settings

New users will automatically receive the most popular setups from other users based on their sensors and ride types.

The idea behind this is that it will allow cyclists to waste less time configuring their settings.