In 2017 Garmin launched the upgraded version of its flagship unit the Garmin Edge 1000 with the new Garmin Edge 1030, I have been testing the new unit for over 12 months now and here is my review! With lots of new features and add ons for the new Garmin 1030 in comparison to the Garmin 1000, I will try to cover most of them in this review, however I might miss some of them as I do no use some of them with my day to day cycling, I mainly use the Garmin Edge 1030 to navigate when out cycling, for cycling metrics such as speed, heart rate, cadence and averages of them in addition some of the safety features. My review is based on this viewpoint and not on some of its more racing focused features.
Having owned the predecessor to the 1030 and several other Garmin Edge units including the 820, 1000, 520, 500 and the 200, I am well versed in using the Garmin out of the box, when the unit first arrived I am keen to get the unit set up and get some of the new features up and running, having had previous Garmin units set up is a doddle and syncing with Garmin connect is as simple as pressing a few buttons, all my pre-set metrics are loaded at the press of a button, and the unit is ready to go.
For those that know the Garmin 1000 I will start with what is new on the new Garmin 1030:
- Longer Battery life – even more still with the expansion pack
- Firstbeat mertics
- Rider to rider messaging
- Strava routes
- Strava live segments
- Incident detection
- More connected features via your phone
Garmin have packed more new things in but as I do not use these I cannot comment on things like the Training Peaks integration and workout creators etc.
I was lucky enough to be gifted the Garmin 1030 with the performance pack, so spare heart rate monitor, speed and cadence sensors are major handy, as I am sure some of you will experience the sinking feeling when your Garmin suddenly says its not picking up your cadence, for you to look down to find that the sensor has fallen off along the way, and if you have ever found one after its fallen off I tip my hat to you as there is a rubbish pile somewhere with at least 4 of mine in it! This is a constant bug bare of mine if I am to be completely honest, and its cycling industry wide not just with Garmin – the rubber bands either need to be made stronger or replaced with more suitable system! Cyclists everywhere will eventually get fed up of spending hard earned cash on replacement parts because these keep failing.
My second issue with the Garmin 1030 is that they have moved the function buttons off the top facing screen to the bottom edge of the unit, even with the provided outfront mount this is a tight fit to get access to these, relieved a little when using an K-EDGE XL outfront mount, factor in some winter gloves and it’s all but impossible. I understand why they have moved them to a certain degree, but the old system on them being on the top made them much more accessible when on the bike – which kind of defeats the purpose to a certain extent.
The list of upgrades and improvements include an improved touch screen, this was upgraded on the 820 but after only 2 weeks of owning the Garmin 820 I sent it back, I found it way to glitchy, unresponsive to touch yet somehow it would pick up a raindrop or leaf blowing past as a touch! My fear when I read that the 1030 had an upgraded touch screen was that it would be the same technology that was implemented into the 820, gladly its not!
When the Garmin 1030 was first released and I received the unit only a few days after it was, there was teething problems such as phone connectivity, and Tredline was still not refined enough to make it usable, these have drastically improved with updates and time I am glad to report!
One of the main features bar using it as a cycling computer for metrics, is the navigation feature for me, I will unless guided usually cycle the same routes over and over again, but it can get boring and it is good to mix things up from time to time. With the importing and using of Strava routes feature which I find a great addition, mainly due to the fact I find Strava’s route creator so much easier to use than Garmin’s version. The route generator that has been a feature since the Garmin 1000 is one of the best tools I use when seeking new routes or a ride somewhere new, simply select a distance and the Garmin selects a few possible routes for you to choose from – big thumbs up now this has been combined with Trendline, as it now not just selects random roads to cycle on but uses data from imported rides from other Garmin users to select roads that are most used by cyclists, meaning you are less likely to end up on a main road rarely used by cyclists.
I could spend hours typing out a huge essay on the features of the Garmin Edge 1030, as there are so many and as I said right at the start I do not use most of these, so I will try to break down the key ones here – If you are looking for an all singing all dancing bike computer that offers all you need for navigation, metrics and also future proof in terms of if you decided to begin training harder and a more structured etc it has all the tools you need for this, the screen is large enough to accommodate more than enough data sections for even the most stat obsessed cycling geek, and integration via Garmin Connect store apps, offer even more including a more graphical user dashboard which would not be out of place in an aeroplane!
The battery life is unreal to be honest, I have never ran it down from full charge to completely empty yet, even with a power meter, heart rate strap and both speed and cadence sensor attached, with my mobile connected on a ride for over 3 hours with full navigation running the battery was still well above 80% when I got home! The option of the additional battery expansion pack can take this even further for those completing multi day events or Audaxes, as Garmin claim this will take the battery life to 40 hours!
Safety features including incident detection (warning this can be triggered under heavy braking – and when wearing thick winter gloves the disable emergency message feature can be hard to stop – speaking from experience here!), the unit also learns from maps and other rider data, using this to alert you of sharp turns. For instance near my work on a regular commute there is a bridge which kind of goes round a corner, hard to explain but imagine a bridge with a sharp right turn into a down hill section with a hairpin at the bottom which is not obvious when approaching, the Garmin 1030 alerts me to this as I approach in good time for me to hear the notification and see the warning, this is more prevalent when in areas you do not know very well or taking on a new route.
In conclusion the Garmin 1030 offers so much more than I have covered in this review – I mean this review so far is over 1000 words long and still only scratching the surface of what it can offer! It offers more than needed for some and everything for others, is it worth the £499 price tag? In my opinion – most definitely, is it completely perfect? No – but in fairness show me a cycling computer that offers as much as this does that is? I am going to give the Garmin Edge 1030 a score of 4.8 out of 5 – as it is not without its annoyances but it is a outstanding bit of kit and has something for everyone! If you are looking to purchase on check out ProBikekit here where at the time of writing this there is close to £100 off!
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