Review – Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Computer
No reason to get lost anymore
GPS units have become quite popular over the years, especially for backcountry riding and bikepacking. Garmin has been at the forefront of GPS technology and offers several different options for riders, depending on what their goals are. The 1030 is Garmin’s newest unit, with more maps, better tracking and a touchscreen. Some of our test riders are dedicated Garmin users and were eager to put this one to the test to see how it compared to other models.
Tech info: The Garmin 1030 is loaded with features, including heart rate, cadence, power and much more. The computer has a 3.5-inch touchscreen (with adjustable sensitivity) with a color display. The unit has several built-in sensors, including a barometric altimeter, accelerometer, GPS and GLONASS tracking options. During setup, riders can choose to run one or both tracking features for added accuracy.
Garmin did some work on the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, increasing the run-time to about 20 hours with a relatively quick charge time. On the underside of the unit is a sealed slot for a micro SD memory card so riders can upload their own routes. The 1030 comes with 100 different courses programmed and tons of different maps.
Like previous Edge computers, the 1030 has smart notifications, including receiving text messages and phone-call alerts when paired via Bluetooth to the rider’s phone. There are two versions of the 1030 riders can purchase—a bundle or non-bundle model. The bundle includes a heart-rate strap and speed/cadence sensor, while the non-bundle version is just the head unit and a few handlebar mounts. Retail price on the non-bundle unit we tested is $600.
On the trail: Out of the box, the 1030 is larger than other Garmin units we have used but is still sleek and modern. The display screen is seriously impressive, resembling an iPad instead of a cycling computer. Programming the device with our rider settings was simple, and setting up the data screens was more intuitive than with other Edge products we have used in the past. Some riders will be slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of options, but if you know exactly what you want, setup will be simple.
We opted to use the GPS and GLONASS tracking to test the battery life and accuracy of the 1030. To our surprise, using both options didn’t have a huge impact on battery life. The GPS navigation was accurate and even provided the names of some of the local bike paths we commuted on.
Our experience with touchscreen cycling devices has been hit-and-miss, but the 1030 has the best touchscreen we have used to date. Increasing the sensitivity a bit made a big difference. We mainly used the power and heart-rate sensors, which didn’t drain the battery prematurely, and delivered consistent and quick numbers.
The 1030 may be a bit expensive for some riders, but Garmin produces some of the best GPS devices for bikes. If you want to know where you’re going and utilize endless data options, the 1030 is a great option.
• Touchscreen works really well
• More intuitive interface than previous Garmin products
• Easy-to-read screen
• Sleek, modern design
• Good battery life
• It’s pretty expensive