Garmin lets latest bike computer recharge while sunbathing during rides
Garmin has added solar charging to its latest Edge bike computer, which boasts up to 100 hours of per-charge battery life, improved GPS accuracy, more ride analytics, easy setup out of the box and a refreshed user interface.
The Edge 1040 Solar model's 3.5-inch touchscreen display is topped by the company's Power Glass technology, which uses solar energy to top up the onboard battery while the rider is out and about and extends up time between USB-C cabled charges.
It's not a new solution for Garmin, many of its sports watches come in solar editions topped with Power Glass or Power Sapphire lenses – such as the recent fēnix 7 multisport smartwatch. In this bike computer guise, it's reckoned to offer cyclists an extra 42 minutes per hour during daytime riding in bright sunlight conditions.
The latest Edge device utilizes multi-band GNSS for more accurate GPS positioning and improved coverage. Turn-by-turn navigation is included, plus Garmin recommends downloading the Trailforks app for route and trail offerings from more than 80 countries.
Popular roads and trails uploaded by Connect users can be highlighted thanks to Trendline integration, and route guidance can be temporarily disabled when riders just want to head into the wilds. And there's a feature which tracks metrics including jump count and distance, hang time, grit and flow are tracked for later examination.
If following a predefined course that includes climbs, there's a function that allows cyclists to see remaining ascent and grade, and then review their performance onscreen (or via the Connect app) afterwards. Those using compatible sensors can receive recommended power targets to aim for while riding a course, and the Edge 1040 Solar can also offer stamina insights by tracking real-time exertion levels.
The new bike computer is reported to offer users a newly refreshed interface for easier access to important info, along with an improved ride summary view and the ability to customize the home page to suit personal needs. Garmin is promising quick, easy and intuitive setup too, particularly if riders are upgrading from a previous Edge device, as custom profiles will be generated from previous data. For new users, the most common settings will be applied.
Elsewhere, the Edge 1040 Solar taps into the power of the company's Firstbeat Analytics brand to provide performance insights on VO2 max, recovery time, training load and training focus so riders can keep track of how their bodies are responding to training regimes. Daily workout suggestions based on current training patterns can be offered as well, and riders can be notified when it's time to power up with a snack or rehydrate.
The device packs built-in safety features such as incident detection, assistance and LiveTrack, allowing friends and family to see a rider's real-time location and view the planned route, while group messaging means that if riders become separated from the main group, they can still keep in touch with each other.
Finally, the Edge 1040 Solar is reported compatible with other bike hardware from the Garmin universe, including the Varia and inReach lines, and it can pair with a Tacx indoor trainer too.
"Cyclists expect as much from their GPS bike computer as they do themselves, and that is why we are thrilled to introduce the Edge 1040 Solar," said the company's VP of global consumer sales, Dan Bartel. "Durable, accurate and ready to go the distance, the Edge 1040 Solar is the pinnacle of GPS bike computers. No matter where you ride, or what bike you choose to use, the Edge 1040 Solar is ready for any adventure – from remote gravel trails to epic climbs."
The Edge 1040 Solar model certainly ain't cheap at US$749.99, but there is a non-solar Standard edition for $599.99 if you can live without sun-soaking recharging.
Product page: Edge 1040 Solar