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Garmin Edge 1030 Review

Garmin Edge 1030
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 5 stars
£499 to £549
  • 100%

  • Garmin Edge 1030
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 1st June 2018
  • Heart Rate functionality
    Editor: 100%
  • Heart Rate Accuracy
    Editor: 100%
  • Cycling functions
    Editor: 100%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 95%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 100%

The Garmin Edge 1030 takes all the best features of the Edge 820 and makes it bigger and, slightly, better. At the time of this review – Feb 2018 – it’s not really worth the extra money unless you are desperate for the minor modifications and larger screen. The bottom line is this – the Garmin Edge 820 is a BRILLIANT GPS bike computer for all cycists. From elite cyclist performance monitoring to recreation riders looking for an all in one mapping solution. The Garmin Edge 1030 has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic

Review of the Garmin Edge 1030 by CardioCritic

Release Date (UK) > Nov 2017

Release Date (USA) > Sept 2017

Product it replaced > Garmin Edge 1000

Suggested Retail Price (when new) >Base Unit £499 / $599

Suggested Retail Price (when new) > Bundle with sensors £549 /$699

Who should buy one

Just like the Garmin Edge 820 – the Edge 1030 is aimed at cyclists of all levels, abilities and riding styles. It’s equally at home on the handlebars of an ELITE cyclist looking for the ultimate in performance monitoring with advanced training status feedback, power metering as it is with a TOURING cyclist demanding excellent mapping capabilities. However  as implied in the introduction – for many cyclists the Edge 820 is a cheaper alternative – also featuring advanced fitness monitoring and GPS route planning / mapping.

Garmin Edge 1030 during my test ride in Hunstanton

Main Differences – Edge 1030 v Edge 820

There are more than a dozen minor improvements on the Edge 1030 not found on the Edge 820, however, there are only a couple of innovative NEW features. Let’s look at physical first

  • Size – the Edge 1030 has a viewable screen size of 3.5″ (88.9 mm) diagonal compared to the Edge 820 of 2.3″ (58.4 mm)

Technically, there are a couple of standout new features, NOT found on the Edge 820

  • Popularity Routing – if you let the Edge 1030 set your riding route for you, it will make the route from the most popular roads in your area. Clever algorithms send you down the same track as other fellow cyclists have riden
  • Advanced Training Status – I love this feature also found on my own Garmin Fenix 5. The Edge 1030 provides valuable feedback on everything from recovery status to current FTP score and a 7 day rolling Training Load
  • Improved Battery Life – the Edge 820 has a Garmin stated battery life of 15 hours in regular GPS mode, the Edge 1030 extends that by 33% to a solid 20 hours.
  • Rider to Rider Messaging – a clever new function that allows riders to send messages between each other without having to take their smartphone out. I can see how this could be useful, however, at present it only communicates to other Edge 1030 devices.

Training Status Advisor

Training too hard can be just as negative for an athlete as training too little. Unless an athlete has access to a top performance coach it’s hard to know whether your cummulative training load is yielding productive results. That’s where Garmin’s excellent new Training status comes in to it’s own. A new performance monitoring tool, Training Status examines your recent exercise history and can feedback telling a cyclist whether they’re training productively, peaking or overreaching. Garmin Edge devices have provided feedback on Training Load for some time now. They have improved this feature in the Edge 1030 with a new Anaerobic Training Effect – as well as the Aerobic Training Effect. Taking it even further, the 1030 even gives a view on your Overall Training Load. Measuring your exercise volume from the last 7 days, comparing it to the optimal range for your fitness and training history.

CardioCritic Video Introduction

Pros & Cons


  • Large 89mm display (diagonal)
  • Up to 20 hours battery life in GPS mode
  • Advanced Training Status analysis
  • VO2 Max and FTP tests
  • Preloaded Garmin Maps for turn by turn navigation
  • Popularity Routing keeps you on the most popular roads / trails
  • Rider to Rider Messaging (compatible devices)
  • Live Strava Segments (requires Premium membership)
  • Compatible with TrainingPeaks Connect IQ planner
  • Aerobic and NEW Anaerobic Training Load status
  • Compatible with ANT+ Power Meters, Heart Rate Monitors and other speed & cadence devices
  • Cons

  • just a little pricey ... that's all we can criticise
  • Power Metering – get ahead with a Power Meter

    If you want to ride like the UCI elites then you really need to start monitoring your pedalling power. There are some great deals available on Power Meters now (external link to Whether you start with a single sided Power Crank like the 4iii Precision or opt for the Garmin Vector 2 giving total power, power balance and much more.

    Ride Safely from A to B with Garmin Cycle Map

    If you want help getting from A to B the Edge 1030 can help – preloaded with the Garmin Cycle Map. It includes turn-by-turn navigation and safety alerts that notify of upcoming sharp turns. If you don’t have the time or inclination to plan your own route use the built-in Round-trip routing. Tell the Edge 1030 the distance you wan to ride and a starting direction – moments later and it gives a choice of up to 3 routes. If, during the ride, you wander off route, don’t worry, it will bring you back on track.

    Popularity Routing – takes you down popular routes

    Cyclists have uploaded millions of miles of ride data to the Garmin Connect platform. When the Garmin Edge 1030 generates a ride for you it chooses roads (and trails) most travelled by other Garmin riders. With this new Popularity Routing features you get to ride the roads and trails favoured by other Garmin cyclists. This is a brilliant feature when you are riding in a new area, for example when on holiday.

    Slimline Aerodynamic Styling

    A new out front bike mount puts your bike computer where you want it to be – right under your nose.

    Rider to Rider Messaging

    I really like the idea behind this new feature and for groups that all use Edge 1030’s is very useful. With Garmin Rider to Rider messaging you can send pre-loaded messages to fellow cyclists -no need to reach for the phone. If you suffer a mechanical defect, a flat tyre or just need a rest – message your fellow riders so they can find you (all riders must be GroupTrack connected).

    Strava Segments – time to PUSH the pedal to the tarmac

    Strava has been one of the huge social success stories of the last decade. Bringing together cyclists of all abilities from around the globe. If you’ve not tried it before, give it a go. You can even follow Tristan Haskins – aka CardioCritic here.

    Strava is all about SEGMENTS. These segments are sections of a ride set up by your fellow riders. Sometimes they can be a long endurance loop, a hard long hill climb, a TT circuit or just a short sprint past your local bike shop. Each time you ride a segment Strava gives your daily, yearly and overall position on that section.

    The Edge 820 has LIVE Strava Segments – the Edge 1030 improves the presentation of this data with a second-by-second graphical comparison – showing how you compare to your PR, the KOM / QOM, or your connected friends. Also, a new Segment Explore feature lets you view popular segments in your area – directly on your Edge 1030.

    Review of Strava Segments data post ride

    Edge 1030 with Strava Segment review

    Edge 1030 with Strava Segment review

    Post Ride Data Review on Garmin Connect

    Garmin’s Connect app and website give in-depth insight in to each and every training session. The screen-grabs below are all taken from a training ride using a Garmin Edge 1030. The level of data analysis options shown here speaks for itself. A similar level of information is available from the Garmin Connect iOs and Android smartphone apps (free)

    Map showing Route & top level Summary

    Graphs of Speed, HR, Elevation, Power, Cadence, Temp & Performance

    Summary Training Stats

    Time in Zones (Heart Rate & Power)

     TrainingPeaks Planning

    The TrainingPeaks Connect IQ app loads your pre-planned workouts to your Edge 1030 – putting your daily workout directly on your Edge device. The TrainingPeaks app will guide you through each workout with feedback on interval intensity and time. After your workout, sync to TrainingPeaks and benefit from advanced analysis of each training session.

    Review Summary

    If you’re working on a budget, then the Edge 820 offers far greater value for money, being nearly 30% cheaper at the time of writing this review (Feb 2018). If money is not such an issue, then there is nothing else for me to say than “buy one“. The Garmin Edge 1030 is a stunning bit of kit that gives riders of all levels the features and functions to improve performance and discover their surroundings. Yes, it’s fairly pricey, but that’s not enough of a reason for us awarding it anything less than a 5 Star Review Rating

    CardioCritic award the Edge 1030 a 5 Star Review rating

    External Links

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