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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Best Garmin Edge bike computer 2022: All the models compared

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(Pocket-lint) – Garmin has a full range of bike computers in the Edge series, but thankfully, there are fewer options than you’ll find in the Garmin’s watch and fitness tracker families.

But there are still plenty of choices to be made if you’re looking to get a computer for your road, mountain or gravel bike, giving you access to bike data, performance data, mapping and navigation.

They range from simple monochrome devices up to larger, full colour, touchscreen devices. All connect to the wider Garmin ecosystem of sensors, but there’s a big variance in features – and prices.

Here’s how all Garmin’s current devices breakdown.

GarminBest Garmin Edge bike computer photo 13

Garmin Edge 1040 solar

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  • 59.3 x 117.6 x 20.0mm, 133g
  • 3.5in colour, 282 x 470 pixels, touchscreen
  • GPS, altimeter, accelerometer
  • 45 hours battery
  • ANT+, BLE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • IPX7

Garmin’s newest and most sophisticated Edge computer builds on the Edge 1030 with an important addition – Power Glass. This model adds Solar skills (there’s also a non-solar version available), with the aim of extending the battery life even longer – up to 45 hours are possible.

There’s now GNSS coverage for more accurate positioning, and new metrics to help assess your cycling ability and highlight your strengths and weaknesses to guide your training.

There are also new stamina insights so you can get an idea of what sort of pace you can maintain on your route – and that’s on top of everything that the Garmin Edge already offered.

There’s also a refreshed interface, continued compatibility with third-party sensors and a whole lot more. It’s the complete package whether you’re riding on the road, off the road – or both!

Pocket-lintBest Garmin Edge bike computer photo 11

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

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  • 58 x 114 x 19mm, 124g
  • 3.5in colour, 282 x 470 pixels, touchscreen
  • GPS, altimeter, accelerometer
  • 24 hours battery
  • ANT+, BLE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • IPX7

The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus is Garmin’s top Edge device and also the biggest, with a 3.5-inch colour touchscreen, but also having the advantage of being able to offer a 24-hour battery life.

The bigger screen also means the Edge 1030 Plus can show the most sophisticated graphics, and while that makes little difference when you’re looking at your stats during a ride (except that they’re bigger or you can get more on the display), it does mean better visual representation.

Loads of metrics are captured from your ride, supporting connected sensors via ANT+ or BLE, while there’s also support for power control and indoor bike trainers. Full mapping, with imported routes or routes created on the device are supported, re-routing when you go wrong. 

There’s also support for Strava Segments, meaning you can compete against Strava friends on those hills, while ClimbPro will help you manage your effort on hills too. Daily workout suggestions will keep you motivated.

Smartphone connectivity will sync all your data to Garmin Connect, provide live tracking for your rides and serve you notifications from your phone – including quick replies to messages (Android only). You can also use it as an alarm for your bike, it supports group messaging and tracking. It’s Garmin’s most complete device, but also the most expensive.

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Garmin Edge 1030

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  • 58 x 114 x 19mm, 123g
  • 3.5in colour, 282 x 470 pixels, touchscreen
  • GPS, altimeter, accelerometer
  • 20 hours battery
  • ANT+, BLE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • IPX7

The Edge 1030 is essentially the older version of the 1030 Plus, with a few small differences, like less internal storage, but support for microSD. It offers the same overall hardware and connectivity, but lacks the bike alarm function offered by the 1030 Plus and the daily workout suggestions.

Otherwise it offers full mapping on that large display, including on-device route planning and re-routing. It doesn’t offer the MTB Dynamics of newer devices, or the included TrailForks routes.

Otherwise, there’s full smartphone connectivity, all the metrics you could hope for and compatibility with things like power meters and control of indoor bike trainers. In truth, it’s close in offering to the 1030 Plus, but as it’s older, you might be able to find it at a better price.

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Garmin Edge 830

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  • 50 x 82 x 20mm, 79.1g
  • 2.6in colour, 246 x 322 pixels, touchscreen
  • GPS, altimeter, accelerometer
  • 20 hours battery
  • ANT+, BLE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • IPX7

The Garmin Edge 830 is more compact than the Edge 1030 Plus and a lot more affordable, while offering many of the same advanced features. The device itself is close to the Edge 530, but offers a touchsreen for more intuitive navigation – on top of essential button control to stop/start tracking. 

A full selection of data is returned, from all your route and performance metrics – mirroring those you’ll get from the Edge 1030 Pro, the only real exception being the daily workout suggestions. It will support connection to a full range of sensors for more data, including power, as well as offering smart indoor trainer controls.

Full mapping is offered, supporting route imports and creation on the device, re-routing and navigation back to the start of routes, as well as features like Strava Segments and ClimbPro so you can see how much further you have to fight up those hills. TrailForks data is integrated and MTB Dynamics supported.

You can also use it as an alarm for your bike, it supports group messaging and tracking. Full smartphone connectivity is offered, including replies to messages (Android only).

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Garmin Edge 530

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  • 50 x 82 x 20mm, 71g
  • 2.6in colour, 246 x 322 pixels
  • GPS, altimeter, accelerometer
  • 20 hours battery
  • ANT+, BLE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • IPX7

The Edge 530 is a upgrade over the Edge 520 Plus and sits below the 830, while offering a similar size and display. It doesn’t have a touchscreen however, it’s button control only, which is one of the big differences between these units.

The Edge 530 offers a lot more data than the smaller 130 Plus, with full recovery and training load covered, as well as metrics for your ride, including power compatibility and indoor bike trainer control.

It uses Garmin’s cycle map, so supports colour navigation with turn-by-turn routing, re-routing, but there’s no on-device route creation as you get on the Edge 830.

Smartphone connectivity provides LiveTrack, notifications, and much more, while connectivity includes Wi-Fi for updates and syncing without a phone connection, and Bluetooth and ANT+ for connectivity to other sensors.

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Garmin Edge Explore

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  • 55 x 105 x 22mm, 116g
  • 3.0in colour, 240 x 400 pixels, touchscreen
  • GPS, accelerometer
  • 12 hours battery
  • ANT+, BLE
  • IPX7 waterproofing

The Edge Explore cuts down on some features, while retaining core elements, like mapping and navigation tools. It’s large, with a 3-inch display supporting touch, with GPS and an accelerometer, but there’s no altimeter, so it lacks the elevation accuracy and features of some other Edge devices.

While plenty of route data is collected, the Explore doesn’t delve into some of the deeper training metrics – it doesn’t support workouts or interval training, it doesn’t give data on VO2 Max, recovery or training effect either. It’s also not compatible with power meters, although it will connect to other ANT+ sensors.

Essentially, the Explore is all about touring and navigation, rather than training.

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Garmin Edge 130 Plus

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  • 41 x 63 x 16mm, 33g
  • 1.8in monochrome, 230 x 303 pixels
  • GPS, altimeter, accelerometer
  • 15 hours battery
  • ANT+, BLE
  • IPX7 waterproofing

An update to the Garmin Edge 130, the Plus is a compact and light unit giving you the essential details about your ride. It has a GPS and alitmeter, so offers route tracking and some navigation. It offers button control only.

There’s no mapping on the device, so it’s a breadcrumb trail only from imported routes, with notifications of when to turn. It will route back to the start, but there’s no re-routing offered when off course. The altimeter means that ClimbPro is offered, showing a visual graph of the hill you’re climbing and how much further there is to go.

It will connect to your smartphone, enabling data syncing with Garmin Connect, LiveTrack and notifications. It’s also compatible with a wide range of sensors using ANT+ or Bluetooth and in the future will support indoor trainer control too.

The Gear Loop buyers

If you love tracking stats and crunching the numbers on your latest outdoor activity, you’ll love The Gear Loop. Our new sister site is here to bring you the freshest news, the most honest reviews, informative guides and inspirational travel features that cover all outdoor active lifestyle pursuits, from sea to summit. Whether that’s running or cycling, winter sports or water sports, The Gear Loop has got it covered.

Writing by Chris Hall.





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