This in-depth post with videos aims to give you all the information you need to choose between the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs 130 Plus. The Edge 1030 Plus is an upgrade of the flagship of the series. The Edge 130 Plus is an upgrade to the 130. The Edge 130 Plus costs one-third of what the 1030 Plus costs. And yet, Cycling News has this to say about this budget choice: “The feature-packed Garmin Edge 130 Plus contains everything you would ever want from a cycling computer.” This makes it very fair for you to ask the question: “Will the Edge 130 Plus be enough to meet my bike computing needs, so that I don’t have to spend nearly as much money?” We hope this post will make it easy for you to answer this question for yourself.
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First I have compiled a chart that compares the key features offered by these two bike computers, including training metrics and navigation. Then I discuss the differences between the two bike computers. Then, I offer some advice on which Garmin Edge to buy, based on your needs. If you don’t have enough time to read all of this, you can jump to the Bottom Line on which Garmin Edge bike computer is right for you. Otherwise, please read on for more details!
First off, here is a chart that highlights the differences between these two bike computers.
Chart Comparing the Features of the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs 130 Plus
|Prices:||Best Price on Amazon Right Now: $347.00||Best Price on Amazon Right Now: $189.99|
|Size of screen||2.3" x 4.5" x 0.8" (58 x 114 x 19 mm)||1.1" x 1.4" (27.0 x 36.0 mm); 1.8" diag (45.0 mm)|
|Color or black and white screen?||Beautiful color screen||Black and white, but sharp and crystal clear|
|Weight||4.4 oz (124 g)||1.2 oz (33 g)|
|Waterproof rating||IPX 7||IPX 7|
|Screen size||3.5" (88.9 mm)||1.8″ (45.0 mm)|
|Display resolution||282 x 470 pixels, color||303 x 230 pixels|
|Touchscreen or button control?||Touchscreen, much improved over the 1030 (basically the 830 screen, but bigger)||Button|
|Battery Life||Up to 36 hours in GPS training mode, up to 48 hours with minimal sensors and backlighting||Up to 12 hours|
|Battery Save Mode (extends battery life by up to 50% while still tracking all ride data)||Yes||No|
|Option to add Garmin Charge Power Pack (to double battery life)?||Yes||No|
|Bike alarm that connects with your phone?||Yes||No|
|Find my bike computer?||Yes||No|
|Basemap||Pre-loaded Garmin Cycle Maps with Integrated TrailForks content||No, so you are limited to courses that you download|
|Ships pre-loaded with high-quality maps for two countries, plus can download any other countries for free?||Yes||No|
|Can you add maps?||Yes||No|
|Address search (input address and it will plot a route)? AKA On-Device Course Creator||Yes||No|
|Popularity routing (Trendline) - shows routes used most by cyclists?||Yes||No|
|Turn-by-turn navigation?||Yes||Yes, but very basic, breadcrumb-style navigation only. And only for downloaded courses, e.g. from Garmin Route Creator or Komoot|
|Recalculate route on the device?||Yes||No|
|New re-routing options?||Yes. Choose from Rejoin where you left course; Skip ahead to course; or Cut across||No|
|Calculate route back to start?||Yes||Yes|
|Create a route on the unit?||Yes||No|
|Create a round-trip route on the device?||Yes||No|
|Find nearby POI (points of interest)?||Yes||No|
|Weather on the unit||Yes||Yes|
|Rider to Rider messaging?||Yes||No|
|Garmin Connect compatible?||Yes||Yes|
|Connect IQ™ compatible?||Yes||Yes|
|Automatically syncs your rides?||Yes||Yes|
|ANT+ and Bluetooth (to connect your devices?||Yes; also WiFi||Yes; but no WiFi|
|Compatible with Vector™ (power meter)||Yes||Yes|
|Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible 3rd party ANT+™-enabled power meters)?||Yes||Yes|
|Bluetooth Smart (aka BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy)?||Yes||Yes|
|Unit to unit transfer (share your data with friends with similar units)?||Yes||No|
|Live Track Incident detection (so someone is automatically notified if you have an accident)?||Yes (new enhanced version)||Yes (new enhanced version). BUT it will only work if you have your Smart phone with you, as this unit does not have WiFi, only Bluetooth & ANT+|
|LiveTrack||Yes, new enhanced version that shows both your planned route and where you are||Yes, new enhanced version that shows both your planned route and where you are|
|LEV/ebike compatibility via ANT+?||Yes||No, but coming very soon|
|Compatible with heart rate monitors, plus speed and cadence sensors?||Yes||Yes|
|Shimano Di2 electronic shifting integration?||Yes||No|
|Can it download free apps and widgets from the Connect IQ™ store?||Yes||Yes|
|Barometric altimeter (to detect altitude)?||Yes||Yes|
|Accelerometer (to detect incidents)?||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with Garmin Varia?||Yes||Yes|
|Extended display to Garmin Varia devices and Garmin smart watches?||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable data pages?||Yes||Yes|
|Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed):||Yes||Yes|
|Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during a ride)?||Yes||Yes|
|Calories burned based on heart rate?||Yes||Yes|
|Interval training?||Yes||Yes, if you download an interval training workout to it|
|Download structured workouts to the unit, so you can follow them on your bike?||Yes||Yes|
|Courses (compete against previous activities)?||Yes||Yes|
|Virtual Partner (so you can compete against a digital cyclist)?||Yes||Yes, but only within a course|
|VO2 Max estimate? (the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise)||Yes||Yes|
|FTP tracking? (Functional Threshold Power is the average power that a rider can produce over the course of an hour)||Yes||No|
|Time in heart rate training zone?||Yes||No|
|TrainingPeaks iLevels (WKO4)||Yes||No|
|ClimpPro (new feature that shows you graphically the grades ahead)?||Yes||Yes, but only if you have preloaded the route|
|Performance Power Curve? (tracks your power output over periods of time)||Yes||No|
|Strava Live Segments on the unit?||Yes||Yes|
|Aerobic training effect?||Yes||No|
|Heat acclimation (how well are you adjusting to heat)?||Yes||No|
|Altitude acclimation (how well are you adjusting to changes in altitude)?||Yes||No|
|Set up multiple activity profiles (e.g. mountain biking, racing)?||Yes||No|
|Water and calorie requirements (reminders based on course)?||Yes||No|
|Grit rating (how tough is the route)?||Yes||Yes|
|Flow rating (how well did you ride the route)?||Yes||Yes|
|Hang time (how long were you in the air when jumping, how far did you go)?||Yes||Yes|
|Integrated Trailforks? (130,000 trails preloaded on unit)||Yes||No|
If you find this review useful and decide to buy one of these bike computers, please use one of our affiliate links to buy. It’s the only way I get any income for the many hours of research and writing I do, and of course, it costs you nothing at all – so we both win! When you buy with one of our links, you make it possible for Maggie and I to keep publishing this blog (thank you!). At the end of this post, I offer links to online buying options. Click here for buying options. There are several buying links along the way as well, in case you don’t make it to the end (which is a long way ahead!)
Videos of the Garmin Edge 130 Plus and the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
These videos will give you a great overall picture of the two bike computers.
Both of the above videos are from the YouTube channel DesFit, which I think is the best bike computer video channel of them all. He also reviews other devices, such as fitness trackers. Check it out!
So, How to Decide between the Garmin Edge 130 Plus and the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus?
Next in this post, we will review what these two units have in common, and what their differences are. In a nutshell, they have major physical differences. However, when it comes to your training needs, they are not that far apart. The Garmin Edge 130 Plus has a surprisingly impressive range of features. However, the Edge 1030 Plus does have a lot more features.
Price Comparison between the Garmin Edge 130 Plus vs 1030 Plus
In terms of price, the comparison is usually as follows:
Both have the sleek good looks and quality feel that comes with all Garmin Edge bike computers these days.
What the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus and the Edge 130 Plus Have in Common
Advanced Bike Training Features
Both are top-quality bike computers that offer a dazzling number of advanced bike training features.
Sensors: You can connect both bike computers to a range of training devices and sensors, such as heart rate monitors, and speed, power, and cadence meters. You can connect both of them to these monitors using both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. At the pricepoint of the Edge 130 Plus, this is pretty amazing.
Structured Workouts: With both of them, you can download training workouts from Garmin Connect or another app to the unit. Then, you can do the workout on your bike, following the workout instructions on the unit.
GPS: They both have access to GPS, GPS+GLONASS, and GPS+GALILEO satellite systems, so they should be able to acquire a GPS signal fast, wherever you are. The Edge 1030 Plus will record your bike rides and will wirelessly transfer your data to Garmin Connect (or Strava, or several other apps). The Edge 130 Plus does the same thing via Bluetooth Smart. You can also plug both units into your computer using the provided micro USB cable to upload your bike rides.
Sync to App of Your Choice: Both of these will wirelessly send your rides to Garmin Connect. They will also sync them to any other app that you have linked up, such as Strava or Training Peaks.
Advanced Analysis of Your Cycling Performance and Power Output
Both of these bike computers offer advanced analysis of your performance and power. These include Time in Zone, FTP (Functional Threshold Power) tracking, cycling-specific VO2 and recovery, and cycling dynamics.
Strava Live Segments for Motivation
You can download Strava Live segments to both of these bike computers. You can star Strava segments ahead of your bike ride on the Strava app or web site. They will then automatically sync to your Edge 130 Plus or 1030 Plus. If you get a course from Strava, it will automatically transfer any Strava segments on that course.
You can view the segments on either of these bike computers before you ride. And you can set up which effort you plan to pursue: KOM/QOM or PR. These stand for King of the Mountain/Queen of the Mountain or Personal Record. In my experience, this can really help you to motivate yourself to cycle faster. I always go for Personal Record
Mountain Bike Metrics
Quite surprisingly, the 130 Plus comes equipped with Garmin’s mountain bike metrics. These offer cool ways to motivate you on your mountain bike – such as how long you were in the air, and how hard your ride was (Grit rating).
Garmin was able to include the jumping metrics because the Edge 130 Plus has an Accelerometer that can measure them. (The Edge 130 did not have this.) It is this device that also makes it possible for this relatively cheap bike computer to have an incident alert feature. That is, if you suddenly fall over, your significant other can be alerted. Of course, you have the option to disable in case of false alerts.
Details about the Mountain Bike Metrics (included on both the 130 Plus and the 1030 Plus)
- Grit rating – this shows you how difficult a route is.
- Flow rating – this shows you how well you descended a tough route. This gives you a metric to try and beat the next time!
- Hang time – this shows you on the fly how long you were in the air after a jump. Later, you can analyze every single jump in great detail on Garmin Connect. How far did you jump, how long were you in the air, and how fast were you going?
The Flow and Grit metrics will be useful for XC and CX racers. The Grit metric will render a difficulty score for particular routes. This can help you to compare one course to another.
The Flow metric can also be very useful, as it uses speed and accelerometer information to score how well you flow through a course. If your goal is to improve lap times, this will help. It will show you exactly where you’re losing seconds, or braking a bit too much.
Why Aren’t I Seeing the Mountain Bike Metrics?
If you are not seeing the mountain bike metrics, this would mean that you did not choose the mountain biking profile for your ride. Update this, and voila! They will appear!
Both of these bike computers have ClimbPro, which is a neat Garmin feature. This upgrade is extremely useful for those who like to cycle up hills. On the 130 Plus, it only works on downloaded routes. But it’s really quite awesome – it basically shows you graphically the grades that lie ahead, as well as the grade you are currently climbing. This could be immensely useful on long-distance, hilly rides. For me, it would tell me when it is time to do a U-turn!
On the Edge 130 Plus you get a little less information than on the Edge 1030 Plus, because you do not view your gradient in a color-coded format. However, you still get plenty of gradient information.
Both are very connected, with phone call and text message alerts, and a ton of other connected features. Connected features that both bike computers share include Smart notifications, being Garmin Connect compatible, being Connect IQ™ compatible, automatically synching your rides, ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart to connect your devices (such as heart rate monitors, speed and cadence sensors), being compatible with Vector™ power meters (and other power meters), Incident Detection (to alert someone if you have an accident), Live Track, Weather, and compatibility with Garmin Varia.
In terms of connectivity, both of these bike computers offer LiveTracking. This means that designated people can track where you are. Both come pre-equipped with Garmin’s latest, updated live tracking. The LiveTrack feature has been improved. Now it shows three sets of data. It shows a purple line for your planned route. It also shows a blue line for your actual route. Finally, a blue dot showing your location updates every 30 seconds.
Auto Syncing during Bike Computer Setup of the Edge 1030 Plus and 130 Plus
As you set up your Garmin Edge 1030 Plus or your 130 Plus, it will automatically import all your activity records, user and activity profiles, and all of your sensors (up to 30). This makes for a really fast and stress-free setup process. This is a Garmin innovation (as of mid 2020). If you have named your devices, the names will be imported too.
Both are waterproof – IPX 7, which means they can most likely survive 20 minutes submerged in a puddle (but don’t test it!)
The Major Differences Between the Edge 1030 Plus and 130 Plus
Color vs Black and White
The cheaper bike computer is black and white, while the more expensive one is color. However, the Edge 130 Plus has a very high quality black and white screen, so that is easy to see under pretty much all conditions.
Does Size Matter to You?
These two bike computers have significant differences in size and weight. The 1030 Plus is very noticeably bigger, with a 3.5″ screen and a screen resolution of 282 x 470 pixels. It looks more like a smart phone than a bike computer. There are many cyclists who insist on the Edge 1030 Plus purely because of the screen size, as it is easier to see the maps. This is more likely with older cyclists, like me.
Battery Life on the Edge 1030 Plus vs 130 Plus
Depending on how many features and sensors you use, the battery on the Edge 1030 Plus can run for up to 48 hours. For most users, it would be reasonable to expect 36 hours. On the Edge 130 Plus, the claimed battery lifetime is 12 hours.
There is an option to extend battery life on the Edge 1030 Plus, as this unit has a connection port to attach an external Garmin Battery, adding on another 24 hours.
The video below highlights all the upgrades that the Garmin Edge 1030 got when it was upgraded to the 1030 Plus.
Power Measurements and Metrics on the Garmin Edge 130 Plus vs. Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
The Edge 130 Plus offers many basic training metrics, including support for power meters. However, compared to the 1030 Plus, it will not offer you the same advanced metrics, such as Normalized Power® (NP) or TSS (Training Stress Score®). TSS measures how much stress you put on your body as you ride. It is calculated using NP, Intensity Factor® (IF) and ride duration. The point of TSS is to help you figure out the best best way to plan your workouts and rest periods.
However, even though you will not be able to check on these advanced training metrics as you ride with your Garmin Edge 130, you will be able to assess them later. Apps such as Garmin Connect or Strava will analyze your ride records and calculate these metrics for you after you ride. So, you can still calculate your training program with the precision of the pros!
Connected Features that Only the Edge 1030 Plus has, not the 130 Plus
Of course, the 1030 Plus has many connected features that the much cheaper 130 Plus does not have. Notably, the 1030 Plus has Rider to Rider Messaging, Unit to Unit Transfer, ANT+ shifting, and Shimano Di2 electronic shifting integration.
These include a Daily Suggestion Workout on the 1030 Plus, but not on the 130 Plus.
Button Control vs. Touch Screen Control
The Edge 1030 Plus has touchscreen control, while the Edge 130 Plus is operated with buttons. So, your preference on this matter is important. It is worth noting that the 1030 Plus touch screen is much improved, and now works well in the rain.
The buttons on the Edge 130 Plus One are as follows: two on the side for up/down; two on the bottom for lap and start/stop/enter; and one the left to turn on the power.
This one comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the more precise control offered by buttons, while others are so used to touch screens that nothing else will do.
Navigation on the Edge 1030 Plus vs 130 Plus
Naturally, the Gamin Edge 1030 Plus has true turn-by-turn navigation built into it, right out of the box. This means you can plug in an address while you are out on a bike ride, and the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus will guide you there. It will give you turn-by-turn visual directions, as well as audible beeps if you go off course. And it will give you directions to get back on course. These will include rerouting options (see below).
Of course, the Edge 130 Plus does not have these advanced navigation features. You can download a course to it from Garmin Course Creator, or a third party app such as Komoot. With these courses, it will give you basic, breadcrumb-type directions including turn-by-turn directions.
When following your breadcrumb trail you can zoom in and out, and pan. The Edge 130 Plus will let you know if you have gone off your course. However, do not expect to see street names, or to get help with rerouting.
Also, the Edge 130 lacks a base map, and you cannot add maps. And it cannot calculate routes for you while you are out on the road.
Of course, none of this matters if you don’t need your bike computer to navigate for you. Usually I have Maggie with me, and she is a better navigator than almost any bike computer!
The Edge 1030 Plus ships with a bunch of free maps pre-installed. For example, if you buy your Garmin Edge 1030 Plus in North America, you will get a full set of high-quality maps for North America and Europe. And, if you need more, you can just log into Garmin Express and download them for free! For details of exactly which countries you will get, see our post, Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs 830 vs 530.
Of course, these are not included on the Edge 130 Plus.
Navigation Options on the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus (but not on the Edge 130 Plus)
Re-Routing Options on the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
In addition to a great navigation system, the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus offers three options if you go off route:
- You can choose to rejoin where you left the course.
- You can choose to skip ahead to get back on the course up ahead.
- Or you can choose to cut across to your planned route.
You get a visual preview of each choice, so you can choose wisely.
Obviously these options do not exist on the Edge 130 Plus.
Pause Routing Option
Say you are on a planned route and you suddenly decide to go off-route for a coffee. Now you can pause the routing, so your Garmin does not beep at you constantly.
Bottom Line on which Bike Computer is Right for You: Garmin Edge 130 Plus vs 1030 Plus
- Buy the Edge 130 Plus if you want a premium bike computer with awesome training features, at a very reasonable price relative to other premium bike computers. But only if you have almost no need for navigation help on your bike rides. And if you like a small, compact, and intuitively easy-to-use bike computer. Honestly, the range of training options and available data on this bike computer is pretty much unbeatable at this price.
Only spend three times as much money on the Edge 1030 Plus if one or more of the following applies to you:
- You absolutely have to have premium navigation help on your bike rides.
- You have some vision challenges and struggle to see a small bike computer.
- You absolutely have to have a touch screen.
- You absolutely have to have the Trailforks app with thousands of off-road trails preloaded.
- You absolutely have to have a color screen.
- You really want to get all those free maps up front, on your bike computer.
- You need very long battery life.
It comes down to what you need and value, and how much you are willing and able to pay for it. It’s a tough choice, but somebody’s got to make it!
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