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Garmin Edge bike computers: buyer’s guide to all the models

We explain them all, from the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar all the way down to the Edge 130

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

Garmin Edge bike computers are one of the most popular go-to choices for cyclists.

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Over time, Garmin has increased the feature-set seen on its GPS bike computers and has extended these to all but its entry-level models.

So what does the Garmin Edge range offer and which one’s right for you?

What can a Garmin GPS computer do?

A bike computer can track where you’ve been and performance metrics, as well as provide mapping on higher-end models.
Alex Evans

At a minimum, a bike computer will let you track where you’ve been, how far and how fast. It will usually have a GPS chip that keeps track of your position, although some budget models will pair with a smartphone and use that device’s GPS data. 

All Garmin Edge computers have their own GPS chips though, and get position data from the Glonass, Galileo and standard GPS satellite constellations.

That basic data can be augmented with a raft of extras. 

Most computers will give you mapping, letting you plan and follow a route, with turn-by-turn navigation. Cheaper models have just a breadcrumb trail that doesn’t superimpose your route on a base map. 

You can pair devices such as power meters, heart rate monitors and cadence sensors with a bike computer.
Simon Bromley

You can also pair your computer wirelessly with peripheral devices such as a heart rate monitor strap, speed and cadence sensors, and a power meter to get more information on your performance.

Entry-level Edge models are controlled using buttons on the sides of the unit, whereas more expensive ones include a touchscreen. The screen gets larger as you move up the range too, and goes from black-and-white to a colour display.

All Garmin Edge computers let you control Garmin’s Varia front and rear lights, with the rear-facing units using radar to alert you via your computer of approaching vehicles. Most of the range can also be used to control the Garmin Virb action camera.

You can also link your computer to the Garmin Connect web app, where you can view and analyse your data and plan routes. 

There’s a supplementary Garmin smartphone app too. This allows you to pair your Edge to your phone, and they will ‘talk’ to one another, with the computer showing you notifications of incoming calls and texts. The app can also share your position and other metrics with other riders and family at home.

The Garmin Edge range explained

The Garmin Edge range starts with the basic models that feature simple black-and-white screen. Moving up the range gets you increasingly larger devices with larger format colour touchscreens and more training data available. That said, even the base models have a lot of Garmin’s features included.

As well as offering standalone computers, Garmin also sells bundles for each Edge model. 

These package up the Edge computer with other kit, such as a sensor bundle, which adds a heart rate monitor strap and speed and cadence sensors. 

Opt for the mountain bike bundle and you get an off-road-specific mount, a silicone case for the computer and a remote, so you can operate it without taking your hands off the bars.

Garmin has recently done some housekeeping on its Edge range, discontinuing some older longstanding models, so you might not see some familiar names below. 

We’ll start with the simplest, most affordable Garmin Edge computers, and work up from there.

Current models in the Garmin Edge series 

Garmin Edge 130 Plus

The Garmin Edge 130 Plus was released in June 2020.
Garmin
  • Best for: Riders who want a simple GPS with plenty of features, including mountain bike metrics

The Garmin Edge 130 Plus builds on the 130, adding an accelerometer that allows the device to include mountain biking metrics and incident detection, as well as Climb Pro functionality, which shows the profile of a climb from a pre-loaded route.

There is still no base mapping on the 130, so you’re limited to breadcrumb mapping, but the device retains the same super-sharp screen as seen on the 130.

Syncing between the best cycling apps, such as Strava and Komoot, has been greatly improved with Garmin opening up its API. Battery life has shrunk to 12 hours, but that should be more than enough for the majority of riders.

Future firmware updates will also allow the 130 Plus to control smart trainers.

  • Read our Garmin Edge 130 Plus first look
  • Navigation: Basic, breadcrumb-style with no basemap
  • Training data: Basic speed, distance, time, elevation, heart rate and power data field, mountain bike metrics and Climb Pro
  • Connectivity: USB, ANT+, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Garmin Varia, Connect IQ
  • Size: 40×62×17mm
  • Screen: 27×36mm, black and white
  • Price: £169.99 / $199.99 / €199.99 / AU$349

Garmin Edge Explore

The overall dimensions of the Edge Explore are similar to the top-end Edge 1030.
Garmin
  • Best for: Riders wanting navigation functionality but not interested in performance metrics

There’s just one Garmin Edge Explore now, and it’s a big one. In terms of form factor, it is most akin to the Edge 1030, with a large colour touchscreen, a weight of 116g and up to 12 hours battery life.

At under half the price of the Edge 1030, the Edge Explore cuts out many of the performance features of the latter to concentrate on navigation, including the Garmin Cycle Map and turn-by-turn navigation. There’s also the ability to create a route on the device itself. 

You get the basics such as speed and distance, and can hook up via ANT+ or Bluetooth with peripheral devices.

  • Navigation: Turn-by-turn directions, Garmin Cycle Map, automatic re-routing, colour mapping and back-to-start feature
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, distance, time, temperature,
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Bluetooth
  • Size: 105mmx55mmx22mm
  • Screen: 39mmx65mm, 240×400 pixels, colour touchscreen
  • Price: £219.99 / $249.99 / AU$N/A

Garmin Edge 530

The Edge 530 is the first computer with WiFi connectivity.
Matthew Allen / Immediate Media

Best for: Riders wanting the functionality of Garmin’s larger computers but in a compact package.

A bit larger than the Edge 520 Plus, the Edge 530 weighs 76g and has a slightly larger screen too at 51x38mm, while battery life is increased to a claimed 20 hours. 

It ups the training emphasis, adding effectiveness measures and VO2 max, as well as recovery time. It also adds the ClimbPro feature, which tells you how much further a climb goes on and how steep it gets ahead. 

The Bike Alarm is also a nice security feature that tells you via your smartphone if the bike is moved while you’re away from it. 

It’s also the first model up the range to get WiFi-connectivity built in, so you can exchange data wirelessly, rather than needing to use a USB cable to connect up to your computer.

As with the Edge 520 Plus, there’s a colour screen with basemaps. What you don’t get with the Edge 530 is a touchscreen. For that you’ll need to step up to the Edge 830 or Edge 1030.

  • Read the full review of the Garmin Edge 530
  • Navigation: Good, aimed primarily at following courses created in advance, with excellent turn-by-turn instructions and hazard warnings. Non-touchscreen means browsing map is mostly a waste of time
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gear selection (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, navigation, performance monitoring and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth, BLE, WiFi
  • Compatibility: ANT+ and ANT+ shifting, power meter and bike trainer, Shimano Di2, Vector power meter, Garmin Varia and Virb
  • Size: 85mm long × 51mm wide × 16mm thick (20mm total including protruding mount)
  • Screen: 38mm × 51mm (2.6in diagonal), 246 × 322 pixel colour screen (non-touchscreen)
  • Price: £259.99 / $299.99 / AU$499 as tested, now £229.99 / $299.99 / AU$499

Garmin Edge 830

The Garmin Edge 830’s route creation feature is good for an on-device function but lacks the intelligence needed to really make it shine.
Alex Evans
  • Best for: Riders wanting a larger-format device with a touchscreen

The Garmin Edge 830 is the first model in the Edge range to get touchscreen control of its functions. It’s larger, but not a lot heavier, than the Edge 530 at 79g and with a larger 74x48mm colour touchscreen.

We also found it relatively easy to input a destination onto the device, although route calculation isn’t great, despite its Trendline routing based on riders’ most popular roads and trails.

  • Read the full review of the Garmin Edge 830
  • Navigation: Good, maps and navigation features are easy to understand and it’s relatively simple to programme routes. On-device route calculation isn’t great, though
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gear selection (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, navigation, performance monitoring and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth, BLE, WiFi
  • Compatibility: ANT+ and ANT+ shifting, power meter and bike trainer, Shimano Di2, Vector power meter, Garmin Varia and Virb
  • Size: 48mmx74.5mm
  • Screen: 50x82mm, 246×322 pixels, colour touchscreen
  • Price: £349.99 / €399.99 / $399.99 / AU$599

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus has been superseded by the 1040 and 1040 Solar.
Garmin
  • Best for: Those wanting the largest screen possible with a raft of features but don’t want to stump up for the 1040 series.

Now superseded by the 1040 and 1040 Solar, the Edge 1030 Plus was the previous flagship model. It still gives you pretty much every feature you could ever want in a bike computer.

Its functionally is very similar to the 830, but with a larger screen, increasing ease of navigation. 

Battery life is said to be 24 hours, though this can be extended to a lengthy 48 hours if you run the computer in a stripped-down mode. 

The SD card slot has been removed, but internal storage has grown to 32gb. Trailforks is also installed as standard on the unit.

  • Read the full review of the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
  • Navigation: Even clearer than the 830, using a larger screen with the same updated processor for quicker route recalculation
  • Training data: A bewildering number of training metrics that can be customised to your heart’s content 
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS, Garmin Varia
  • Size: 59x114x19mm
  • Screen: 3.5in / 89mm colour touchscreen, 282×470 pixels
  • Price: £519.99 / $599.99 / €599.99 / AU$999

Garmin Edge 1040 and 1040 Solar

The all-new 1040.
Garmin
  • Best for: Cyclists who want the latest flagship model with every possible feature imaginable (with a price to match)

Top of the Garmin Edge tree, the brand-new Edge 1040 and 1040 Solar give you every feature you could ever want in a bike computer in the same overall format as the outgoing Edge 1030 Plus. 

The 1040 Solar is said to run for up to 100 hours by recharging with sunlight on the go, using the same Power Glass technology as found on its top-end smartwatches.

Compared to the 1030 Plus, the 1040 is claimed to offer improved GPS and more data analytics while riding.

The 1040 and 1040 Solar are the first Garmin computers to ditch the Micro-USB charging point and move to the USB-C standard.

The ride settings on the 1040 models can be adjusted via the Garmin Connect app, a feature long requested by users. 

  • Read our full Garmin Edge 1040 Solar review
  • Navigation: Every bit as good as the 1030 Plus with a faster processor for quicker route recalculation
  • Training data: A bewildering number of training metrics that can be customised to your heart’s content 
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi, USB-C
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS, Garmin Varia
  • Size: 59x118x20mm
  • Screen: 3.5in / 89mm colour touchscreen, 282×470 pixels
  • Price (Garmin Edge 1040): £519.99 / $599.99 / €599.99 / AU$999.99
  • Price (Garmin Edge 1040 Solar): £629.99 / $749.99 / €749.99 / AU$1,299

Discontinued Garmin Edge bike computer models

Garmin has done quite a bit of housekeeping on its Edge range recently, trimming its offering down to seven. So gone are the smallest entry-level Edge 25, the 520 Plus and the 1030. 

Here’s a full list of discontinued models as at June 2022:

Are there other options to consider?

It’s worth considering other brands’ bike computers too. Whereas five years ago, a bike computer was a Garmin, there are now alternatives from the likes of Wahoo and Lezyne, which in some cases offer other features, such as better aerodynamics, or lower price points. Check out our explainer on Wahoo vs Garmin to find out more about the differences between the two brands. 

You can also get a lot of the functionality of a bike computer in a GPS watch/smartwatch, with more versatility if you’re into other sports besides cycling.

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Garmin has a comprehensive range, but other brands to look out for include Fitbit, Suunto and Polar.