This post lists all of the upgrades to be found in the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs the GPS bike computer it replaced, the Garmin Edge 1030. At the end of the post we include a video that showcases the features of the 1030 Plus. This post will empower you to decide for yourself whether the 1030 Plus is worth the investment.
At the moment you can buy a Garmin Edge 1030 Plus for $400, which is an incredible deal, probably because of the release of the Edge 1040. (See Garmin Edge 1040 vs 1030 Plus: What’s the Difference?.)
The older 1030 is becoming hard to find, but when you do, you can get a lot more for your money. For example, Amazon offers the 1030 with a premium heart rate monitor, plus a speed sensor and a cadence sensor, and two different kinds of mounts, for around $700. Could that be a better deal?
That said, I just noticed that right now you can get the same excellent combo deal for the 1030 Plus for just $15 more on Amazon:
Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It does not cost you a cent.
Related Post: Garmin Edge 1040 vs 1030 Plus: What’s the Difference?
Related Post: Garmin Edge 530 vs. 830 vs. 1030 Plus vs 1040 – In-depth Review with Videos & Comparison Chart
Big Picture: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs 1030
These are almost identical devices, apart from being different colors. The 1030 Plus is significantly faster, however, thanks to a beefed-up processor. And it has twice as much onboard memory. Plus, the touchscreen has been significantly improved.
Also, the Plus launched with a bunch of really cool new features. However, as is the norm for Garmin, most of these features have now been shared with the older 1030 via software updates. Therefore, for the average user, there is very little difference between the two units. If however you use it a lot for navigation, the faster processor on the 1030 Plus is going to make your life easier.
Apart from that big picture, let’s zoom in on the nitty-gritty. Also, at the end of this post, there is a chart that compares both units in detail.
Physical Differences between the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs Garmin Edge 1030
The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus is all black, rather than mainly white, as with the 1030. Most people seem to prefer that, but personally the color makes no difference to me.
More Internal Memory
The newer model weighs in at 125 grams (4.4 oz), which is an inconsequential 1 gram (0.04 oz) extra. Also, there is no slot for an external memory card. The same thing accounts for both of these changes: the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus has 32 GB of onboard memory, rather than the 16 GB found on the 1030. So, you don’t need an extra memory card with the newer model. You can have as many high-quality maps on your bike computer as you like, as well as workouts, routes, sensor profiles, user profiles, etc.
What’s in the Box?
Both the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus and the older model ship with a standard mount and an out-front mount. And like all Edge bike computers, they ship with a USB cable to charge them, spare bands for mounting, and allen keys.
Related Post: Garmin Edge 530 vs 830: What’s the Difference?
Just as happened with the 530 and 830 upgrades, the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus had a major upgrade to its processor speed. Garmin claims it is double the speed of the previous model. Of course, it is hard to verify this subjectively. Some things seem faster; other things were already so fast it is really hard to assess whether they are now double the speed. In general, there are less annoying waits for something to process. You will definitely notice the difference when using the navigation feature.
Battery Life Improvements
Depending on how many features and sensors you use – and how brightly you run the unit – the battery in the 1030 Plus can run for up to a whopping 48 hours. If you use every possible feature, it might only last 24 hours. For most users, it would be reasonable to expect 36 hours.
It’s hard to see how anyone would ride for longer than that, but if you are a super-athlete, there is an option to extend. This unit has a connection port to attach an external Garmin Battery Extender, adding on another 24 hours of battery life.
This was one of the major upgrades to the 1030 Plus. Getting more maps has always been a bit of a chore with Garmin bike computers. You either had to pay for them, or you had to go to third-party suppliers. If you did the latter, the maps did not always work as well.
But with the 1030 Plus … drumroll … you get a bunch of free maps pre-installed. And, if you need more, you can just log into Garmin Express and download them for free!
- 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.
- If you buy your Garmin Edge 1030 Plus in Europe, you will get a full set of high-quality maps for Europe + North America.
- If you buy in Australia or New Zealand, you get Australia and New Zealand and Africa.
Also, crucially: the map performance on the 1030 Plus is more like a smart phone than a bike computer. Thanks to that faster processor, of course.
Note: Of course, you can download whatever maps you want to the older 1030. However, as the Garmin Edge 1030 has only 16 GB of onboard memory, you might run into space problems. Of course, you could add on a memory card.
Related Post: Which Garmin Edge Bike Computer is the Best?
Re-Routing Options on the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus retains a great navigation system, with audible and visual prompts. This pairs up nicely with the very high quality maps. But you could still go off route – either by accident, or because you want to explore. If so, with the 1030 Plus there are three options to choose from:
- You can choose to rejoin where you left the course. This one is most useful if you just want to explore an interesting path you happen to see, and then want to get back to your planned route.
- 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. In some cases, this could significantly shorten your route.
You get a visual preview of each choice, so you can choose wisely. For example, if you were very tired, the cutting-across choice might make sense.
Naturally, it will only show you three options if three options actually exist.
Note: Since the 1030 Plus was launched, this re-routing option has been shared with the 1030 via a software update.
Pause Routing Option
The Pause Route option was a new innovation with the release of the 1030 Plus. This is how it works: let’s say you are on a planned route and you suddenly decide to stop for a coffee. The coffee shop is four blocks off your route. Previously, the bike computer would be beeping at you, trying to tell you that you are off route, and need to do a U-turn. Whether that happens in your vehicle or on your bike – nobody likes a nag!
It is great to be able to just pause the navigation, and get a coffee in peace and quiet.
Mountain Biking Upgrades
The Garmin Edge 1030 was very much a bike computer for serious road bike riding. But that changed with the launch of the 1030 Plus. With dedicated mountain biking data and sensors built right in, the 1030 Plus was immediately a strong contender for the best mountain biking computer too.
However, Garmin has now shared all of the mountain biking upgrades with the older 1030 via software updates. With the result that either of these units would work well for mountain bikers.
Mountain Bike Metrics
Gamin’s fun and motivational mountain bike metrics debuted on the 530 and 830. And of course, they were also included with the 1030 Plus. They give you a wealth of data. Knowing how much air time you had, or how far you jumped, are great ways to motivate yourself.
These new mountain biking metrics include Grit rating, Flow rating, Hang time, and the fully integrated Trailforks app.
- 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?
- Trailforks – this app is integrated into the unit. This means that maps for 130,000 mountain bike trails are included in the unit, along with their difficulty rating. So, you can see the difficulty level of the trails you are cycling on. If the trail forks, you can make an informed decision as to which trail to take. For example, if you’re tired, you can choose the trail with a lower difficulty level.
Note: all of these mountain biking metrics have been shared with the 1030.
Trailforks is Built Into the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
Trailforks data is built into the 1030 Plus, including all the mountain bike maps. Previously these were only on the Edge 530 and 830. This means that when you are mountain biking in a new place, you can search for the best and most suitable trails around you. Data of course includes difficulty level, so you can make the right choice. And you can of course you can add your preferences to the setup on your unit.
Note: The older 1030 did get Trailforks compatibility in a software update, but that update did not include the maps. The Trailforks app is on the Connect IQ store and you can add it to your 1030.
See the Climbs Coming
ClimbPro is a feature that will show you what climbs are up ahead, how high they are, and how long they will last. This is very useful information. This feature was included with the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus when it launched.
Note: the ClimbPro feature has been shared with the older 1030.
Training Features on the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
Of course, Garmin Edge computers have so many training features, it would be hard to list them all in one post. And many people take advantage of third party training apps as well, such as Training Peaks. That said, the Edge 1030 Plus was launched with some great features.
Daily Suggestion Workout
Basically, this function surveys your existing workout load by looking at your current training load, e.g. on Garmin Connect. It then suggests a workout based on your current training load. It just suggests the core components, e.g. it might suggest a VO2 max workout, or a Base Workout.
You could then choose to get the details from your regular training app. Or, if you plan workouts from Garmin Connect, these will automatically pop up when you switch on your bike computer.
Related Post: Is a Garmin Edge Bike Computer Worth It?
Performance Power Curve
The Performance Power Curve shows you your mean maximal power over different time frames. This feature is available on the 1030 Plus and the 1030.
On the 1030 Plus, the LiveTrack experience was improved for those who are tracking you. LiveTrack shows three sets of data. These include 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. In short, the Livetrack was upgraded to show your route to the people you choose.
This update has been shared with other Garmin Edge bike computers, via a software update. This of course includes the Garmin Edge 1030. So yes, you get this improvement with the older model too.
Auto Synching during Bike Computer Setup
This was probably my favorite update. This is because I am slowly becoming a grumpy old man, and can get quite irritable when I am setting up new tech!
As you set up your new Garmin Edge 1030 Plus, it will automatically import all your activity records, user and activity profiles, and all of your sensors (up to 30). It targets all the sensors you have used for the last year. And it knows what you have named your sensors too, and imports that information. This makes for a really useful and stress-free setup process.
After a long delay, this update was shared with Garmin Edge 1030. So again, you get this improvement with the older model too.
Unlike with the Wahoo, you still cannot configure phone-based data fields.
Changes to the Screen of the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
First, the blue halo that hung around some of the Edge 1030 screens was eliminated.
More importantly, the touch screen display was upgraded. Basically the 1030 Plus has the same screen as the upgraded 830, but bigger. As we all noticed, the 830 screen was a major upgrade in terms of the touchscreen working so much better.
Similarly, the Edge 1030 Plus screen was much improved. Expect to be able to use it (without cursing) in the rain, while wearing gloves!
Related Post: Garmin Edge 830 vs 820
The iconic Garmin beeping noise was changed on the 1030 Plus. The tone is very slightly different, and it is noticeably louder. Also, the speaker is in a different spot.
Shimano Ebike integration
The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus was integrated with the Shimano Steps Ebike System, offering a dedicated ebike status screen that is ideal for keeping track of your bike’s battery life, the mode you’re in, and other ride data.
What is Shimano Steps?
The Shimano Steps E8000 is a system of components that are installed on an electric bike. This system offers you intuitive trail support. At the same time, you enjoy the feeling of riding a regular mountain bike. The Shimano Steps mountain bike e-bike system is pre-installed on a wide variety of bike brands.
Related Post: Garmin Edge 830 vs 820: What’s the Difference?
Video Highlighting Changes to the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs Garmin Edge 1030
Bottom Line on Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs Garmin Edge 1030
So, the bottom line is that this was not a revolutionary update, but it did have some very sweet spots. The most attractive will depend on your own needs and preferences.
- For many, the increased processor speed and improved touch screen will be the most important.
- However, if you are a mountain biker, the integrated Trailforks and mountain biking dynamics, plus all the built-in trail maps, will probably be the standout features that might tempt you to upgrade.
- If touring is your thing, the built-in, high-quality global maps (and access to all the maps you could possibly want) is pretty tempting.
- If you are a super-athlete, the bumped-up battery life is most likely going to be important to you.
- If you are an adventurous cyclist who likes to plan routes – and also deviate from them whenever the fancy takes you – then the rerouting options and the pause route option are going to be a whole lot of fun.
Chart Comparing Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs Garmin Edge 1030
|Best Price on Amazon Right Now: $389.99||Best Price on Amazon Right Now: $389.99|
|If viewing on a smart phone, please rotate your phone to a horizontal orientation so you can see the chart better|
|Screen size||3.5" (88.9 mm) diagonal, high res||3.5" (88.9 mm) diagonal, high res|
|Resolution||282 x 470 pixels; color||282 x 470 pixels; color|
|Dimensions||2.3 x 4.5 x 0.8" (5.84 x 11.4 x 2.1 cm)||2.3 x 4.5 x 0.8" (5.84 x 11.4 x 2.1 cm)|
|Weight||4.8 ounces (125 g)||4.8 ounces (124 g)|
|Color of unit||Black||White|
|Battery life||Up to 48 hours||Up to 20 hours|
|Processor||Significantly faster than the 1030||Significantly slower than the 1030 Plus|
|New Sony GPS Chipset||Yes||No|
|Onboard memory||32 GB of onboard memory||16 GB of onboard memory|
|MicroSD card expansion slot||No, because you don't need it any more||Yes|
|Option to add Battery Pack to increase battery life on the road?||Yes, Garmin Charge power pack extender increases battery life from 20 hours to 44 hours||Yes, Garmin Charge power pack extender increases battery life from 20 hours to 44 hours|
|Full navigation, including Trendline, Turn-by-turn guidance, and Garmin Cycle Map with bike-specific navigation?||Yes. Also, the 1030 Plus ships with two complete sets of country maps preloaded (e.g. North America PLUS Europe)||Yes. Only ships with the Garmin Cycle Map, but you can download extra maps|
|Pause-route option (so you can go to the coffee shop without the navigator beeping at you)?||Yes||No|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi. Includes LiveTrack; GroupTrack; Automatic Activity uploads to Garmin Connect; Course and workout downloads from Garmin Connect; Device to device transfers; Social media interactions when uploading activities to Garmin Connect; Weather updates in real time; Notifications of phone calls and messages; Messages – reply with preset text messages; Audio prompts; Incident detection – sends message to emergency contacts; Connect IQ™ downloadable features||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi. Includes LiveTrack; GroupTrack; Automatic Activity uploads to Garmin Connect; Course and workout downloads from Garmin Connect; Device to device transfers; Social media interactions when uploading activities to Garmin Connect; Weather updates in real time; Notifications of phone calls and messages; Messages – reply with preset text messages; Audio prompts; Incident detection – sends message to emergency contacts; Connect IQ™ downloadable features|
|LiveTrack improvements?||Yes, LiveTrack now shows your route to the people you share it with||Yes, LiveTrack now shows your route to the people you share it with|
|ClimbPro preloaded?||Yes||No, but you can download it|
|Mountain biking metrics (grit rating, flow rating, hang time, and Trailforks)?||Yes, preloaded in unit||Not preloaded, but can be downloaded from Connect IQ store|
|Preloaded with virtual coach Training Peaks?||Yes||Yes|
|Daily workout suggestions on the unit, based on training load?||Yes||No|
|Download Strava Real-Time segments?||Yes||Yes|
|Performance power curve||Yes||Yes|
|Stress score (requires HR monitor)||Yes||Yes|
|Heat and altitude acclimation||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in better structured workouts?||Yes||No, but you can download them|
|Bike Alarm and Find my Bike Computer||Yes||Yes|
|Incident alert||Yes, thanks to built-in accelerometer||Yes, thanks to built-in accelerometer|
Would a Cheaper Option – like the Edge 530 or 830 – be Better for You?
Bear in mind that if you don’t need the large screen and full navigation, then you could probably do just fine with a Garmin Edge 530. And if you don’t need the large screen but still want all the features, you might do just fine with an Edge 830. You might even be OK with the cheapest in the range, the relatively tiny Edge 130 Plus.
If it’s hard to decide (and it usually is), please check out our post:
Good luck with choosing the best bike computer for you!
Related Post: Best Cheap Bike Computers Under $65
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