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Why the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar isn't a must-buy – at least right now

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Yesterday, Garmin unveiled the Edge 1040, its new flagship bike computer that, like the Garmin Forerunner 955, comes in both Solar and non-Solar charging options. 

That’s not the only change: Garmin reports the Edge 1040 will offer recommended power targets to help you navigate courses better by putting in more effort where it counts, a real-time “exertion level” metric, improved multi-band GPS tracking, and of course, a USB-C cable rather than the old-fashioned micro-USB. 

The new flagship looks, by all accounts, to be a phenomenal feature-stuffed bike computer. If you want a bike computer with a battery that will last you months, with the very latest technology and pinpoint-accurate GPS, this is the computer to go for.

However, for most of us, it’s a little too similar to the Garmin Edge 1030 series to be a must-buy right now. 

Although the new improvements are nice, the Garmin Edge 1030 series, especially the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus, is still an almost overwhelmingly feature-rich device, and crucially, now the replacement is out, the cost has already started to come down. We’re already seeing $200 discounts and then some on websites such as Wiggle (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Garmin)

Although the 1030 will need to be charged more often (it still offers a full 24 hours of use in comparison to the 1040’s 30 hours) and uses the inferior micro-USB cable, there are too many similarities to ignore. The display is identical, the older unit is only a few mm smaller, both are IPX7 waterproof, and the safety and tracking features are identical. 

The Edge 1040 has double the internal memory, but if 32GB isn’t enough for your routes, data, courses, riding history, and metrics, you’re probably the power user, who was always going to get the 1040 regardless. 

Moving away from the construction, the training planning and analysis features are also virtually identical, at least according to the specs checklists on the Garmin website. Apart from the changes noted above, both computers offer custom screens, advanced workouts, interval training plans, estimated VO2 max, recovery advice, a virtual riding partner… the list goes on. 

The 1040 looks like an amazing piece of equipment. But just like the new Garmin Forerunner 955 and 255, if you’re anything other than a power user, it’s worth waiting for the Amazon Prime Day deals to strike on the older model, as the changes are an incremental step forward. 

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