It finally happened – Garmin released an update to its flagship Garmin Edge 1000 bike computer! So you might be wondering: was this update worth the three-year wait? In this post I compare the new Garmin Edge 1030 with the long-popular premium Garmin Edge 1000. I also offer informed opinions as to if and when the new features on the Edge 1030 will be rolled out to other Garmin Edge bike computers. I hope this post will help you decide if you should buy the Garmin Edge 1030 or the 1000 – and also, if you should upgrade your aging Edge 1000 for an Edge 1030. 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!
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The post starts with a chart that highlights only the features that are different between the two bike computers. Then I discuss the similarities, and then I present a chart that summarizes the new 1030 features, and predicts whether these features will remain unique to the 1030. The post concludes with advice on which Garmin Edge to buy, based on your needs. Once you make your choice, please consider clicking through from one of my affiliate links to buy. It is the only way I can earn any income for the many hours of work I put into these reviews … and it costs you nothing – a real win/win situation! I present a range of buying options at the end of this post.
Chart Showing Features that are Different in the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
|Big picture||Brand new, much awaited upgrade to Edge 1000. Key features are bigger screen and MUCH more battery life (thanks to add-on external battery). Improved Strava functionality & other new features||Great for training and navigation. Premier bike computer for many years, with great big color screen, making it easy to view maps|
|Lowest Price on Amazon Right Now:||Because price is lower than manufacturer's recommended price, we cannot display it. Please click here for current price.||$274.99|
|Buy it in Canada:||Click here to check the price on Amazon.ca||Click here to check the price on Amazon.ca|
|Buy it in the UK:||Click here to check the price on Amazon.UK||Click here to check the price on Amazon.UK|
|Unit Size||2.3 x 4.5 x 0.8" (5.84 x 11.4 x 2.1 cm)||2 x 3.7 x 1"|
(5.1 x 9.3 x 2.5 cm)
|Display resolution, Width x Height||282 x 470 pixels; color||240 x 400 pixels; color|
|Screen size||3.5" (88.9 mm) diagonal, high res||3" (76 mm) diagonal, high res|
|Touchscreen||Yes - improved, much better in rain, and claimed to be better with gloves||Yes|
|Landscape mode available?||No - landscape discontinued as it was not much used||Yes|
|Weight||4.8 ounces (123 g)||4.0 oz (114.5 g)|
|Battery life||Up to 20 hours||Up to 15 hours|
|Battery save mode available? (Extends battery live up to 50% while still tracking ride details)||Yes (powers down the screen)||No|
|Additional external battery?||Yes, Garmin Charge power pack increases battery life from 20 hours to 44 hours||No|
|Out front mount (as well as original quarter turn)?||Yes, but it is a new, improved flush-fitting front mount, more aerodynamic||Yes|
|Is the screen responsive to level of ambient light?||Yes, it will brighten when ambient light darkens||Yes, it will brighten when ambient light darkens|
|Incident alert? (to tell your spouse if you have an accident)||Yes. You can switch it off if you are uninjured||No. The 1000 does not have a built-in accelerometer to detect incidents|
|Message other cyclists directly?||Yes, as long as they also have a 1030! Uses canned messages||No|
|Smart phone Connected features (depends on having a Bluetooth enabled smartphone, and you may have to install the Garmin Connect mobile app on your phone)||Yes - 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||Yes - Live Tracking, send/receive courses, workouts and training plans wirelessly, social media sharing, smart notifications (texts and calls), Connect IQ™ downloadable features|
|Accepts data cards||Yes, including optional memory card in the micro-SD slot. Improved weather protection for the card||Yes, including optional memory card in the micro-SD slot|
|Preloaded with TrainingPeaks? (a virtual coach to guide your workouts and training plan)||Yes||No, but you can download it with Connect IQ|
|Stress score (requires HR monitor)||Yes||No|
|Garmin Connect Real-Time segments||Yes||Yes|
|Download Strava Real-Time segments?||Yes, if you have Strava premium. NEW advanced feature - can alert you to nearby segments||Yes, if you have Strava premium|
|Automatically download new routes created in Strava to the unit?||Yes||No|
|New feature: Trendline popularity routing - when mapping, Trendline uses the routes most popular with cyclists, drawing from Garmin's database||Yes||No|
|Navigation?||Yes - once you pick a location, it will guide you to that location. IMPROVED because it uses popularity routing||Yes - once you pick a location, it will guide you to that location|
|Turn-by-turn guidance?||Yes - just like a car GPS, it will warn you a turn is coming, and tell you when to turn (with text and a beep). Also now has alerts of upcoming sharp turns||Yes - just like a car GPS, it will warn you a turn is coming, and tell you when to turn (with text and a beep)|
|Preloaded basemap?||Yes, preloaded and IMPROVED Garmin Cycle Map with bike-specific navigation so it can give you turn-by-turn navigation instructions||Yes, preloaded Garmin Cycle Map with bike-specific navigation so it can give you turn-by-turn navigation instructions|
Similarities between the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
The 1030 is an upgrade, not a new product. As such, both the 1030 and the 1000 are premium bike computers that will provide you with almost any data you can think of. The two bike computers share the following key features:
- High-end training metrics and data
- High-end maps and navigation, including turn-by-turn notifications
- Customizable screens
- Connectivity via ANT+ with multiple devices and sensors, such as heart rate monitors and power meters
- Smart notifications, phone call and text message alerts, real-time weather
- Large, touch-screen color screen
- Access to both GPS and Glonass satellite systems, so they acquire a GPS signal with lightning speed
- Will record your bike rides and wirelessly transfer your data to Garmin Connect (and Strava, which you can read about here).
- Strava segments
- Live tracking – which means your partner (or other designated person) can track where you are.
- Group Track (keep track of the rest of your team).
Update April 2019: For a time after the 1030 was introduced, prices were slashed on the Edge 1000. Back then, you could get an awesome deal on the Edge 1000, and I was advising people to do just that, if they did not need the increased battery power of the 1030. However, that is now over, and the prices are very similar. Which to my mind makes this a bit of a no-brainer: personally I would not miss out on the many new features of the Garmin Edge 1030 just to save around $50! Also, it has become hard to buy new Edge 1000 units. The only exception: if you are prepared to buy Used or Refurbished, you can still get a great deal on an Edge 1000, here on Amazon.
OR, buy an Edge 1030 from one of these reputable online suppliers:
I prepared this handy little chart that summarizes the new Edge 1030 features, and my predictions as to how long these features will remain unique to the 1030. After the summary, I have more details on each point.
|Improved Battery Life – 44 hours instead of 15 hours||No, it is a hardware change|
|Improved touch screen that works well in rain||No, it appears to be hardware related|
|Ships preloaded with the new Garmin Connect app TrainingPeaks||You can download this app from the app store to other Garmin units right now!|
|The start/stop buttons moved to the bottom of the device (facing you)||No, it is hardware|
|Additional connectivity via BlueTooth Smart||No, it appears to be hardware related|
|Improved Strava Connectivity – you can download routes automatically, plus it alerts you to nearby segments and updates you in real time||Yes, most likely in the very next software updates|
|New feature: Uses Trendline Popularity Routing for mapping. So it focuses on the routes most popular with cyclists, drawing from Garmin Connect's database||Probably not any time soon, as it is a unique selling point. But some time in the future, it will have to be shared|
|Notifies you of upcoming sharp turns when navigating||Perhaps, but it’s hardly a deal breaker either way|
|Rider to Rider Messaging with canned messages||Probably not any time soon, as it is a unique selling point. But some time in the future, it will have to be shared - for messaging to succeed, a mass user baser is required!|
|Dashboard of the new Garmin Edge 1030 is much improved||Unlikely|
|New controls area||Yes, most likely in the next software update|
|Improved, more aerodynamic out front mount||Yes, definitely. Of course, you will have to actually buy it ...|
Improved Battery Life on the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
This is probably the most important difference for most people. The Edge 1030 actually has three innovations to improve battery life. First, it has a claimed 20 hours battery life instead of the 15 hours of the 1000. Second, there is Garmin Charge, which adds 24 hours to battery life. This is basically an external battery pack that clamps onto the bottom of the Garmin mount, and seamlessly and automatically connects with the Edge 1030. This is an optional extra – it does not ship with the basic unit.
Third, the Garmin Edge 1030 has battery save mode available. This extends battery life up to 50% by darkening the screen while still tracking ride details. This was introduced with the release of the Garmin Edge 820, and is a neat feature when you start running short on battery charge. However, if you are packing an external battery, that is extremely unlikely to happen. I think my own ticker would run down first!
Physical Differences between the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
Both of these bike computers look more like smart phones than bike computers. The Edge 1000 used to have the largest screen of any bike computer, making it great for navigation. However, the screen of the Edge 1030 is noticeably bigger – 3.5 inches, as compared to 3 inches. So, if you need a big clear screen, this could be an important difference. The Edge 1030 achieves a larger screen with hardly any difference in the weight and size of the unit, by having the screen take up more space with less “wasted” space around it. As a result, the Edge 1030 weighs 4.8 oz (123 g), while the Edge 1000 weighs 4 oz (114.5 g). This difference is so minor, I am sure that most people could not tell the difference with their eyes closed.
You can turn the Edge 1000 into landscape mode, so you can see the maps even more clearly. However, pretty much no one ever used the landscape mode, so this has been abandoned on the Edge 1030.
On the other hand, the dashboard of the Edge 1030 has been totally revamped, and to my mind is much more user friendly and easy to use. Also, there is a new controls area, which you can access simply by swiping down, even mid-ride. There, you can adjust settings that you might want to adjust while riding, such as switching off notifications (say for example if you are suddenly plagued by a stalker, or someone wants you to get home and take out the dogs), checking the weather, etc.
Improved touch screen on the Garmin Edge 1030
Garmin claims that the 1030 has an improved touch screen and will work in rain and with gloves. On testing, it performs amazingly well in rain, but not so well with gloves. For use with gloves, it is best to use cycling gloves that are actually designed for touch screens – such as these super cheap but well rated Zooki cycling gloves.
Buttons on the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
The start/stop buttons have moved on the 1030, so they are now on the bottom of the device. Assuming you are using an out front mount (which ships with most Garmin Edge bike computers), this is way more convenient, as the buttons are very handy, right in front of you.
Training with the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
The Garmin Edge 1030 ships preloaded with three apps, including the new Garmin Connect app TrainingPeaks. This is a very cool virtual coach that can give you daily training updates. This app can be a key feature for those in serious training. However, TrainingPeaks can also be downloaded from the app store to the 1000, 820, and 520. So, you don’t have to get a Garmin Edge 1030 just to get TrainingPeaks!
Connectivity with the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
Something brand new with the 1030 is connectivity via BlueTooth Smart (not just ANT+, which has always been the standard for Garmin). BlueTooth Smart (aka BlueTooth 4.0) is a low-energy way to connect wirelessly to your smartphone and upload data. This extra dimension of connectivity opens the door to using more devices (third-party sensors, including heart rate, speed, cadence, and power sensors ). This brings the Garmin Edge 1030 in line with the Garmin Fenix 5 (my all time favorite multi-sport watch) and Garmin Forerunner 935 (the highly regarded triathlon watch). Also, BlueTooth Smart uses less battery power to connect to your smart phone, so this is going to save on battery power, especially when you are using a lot of data-heavy information from your phone, such as Strava segments, and messaging.
Note that this feature will not be rolled out to other Garmin Edge devices, as it is hardware dependent.
Improved Strava Connectivity
Automatic route downloads: I find this to be a massive improvement: up to now, if you made a route in Strava you had to physically download it to your computer, then copy it to the new files folder of your Garmin unit, as I explained here. However, with the Garmin 1030 new routes will download automatically to your Garmin (assuming of course you have linked your accounts). It is a great improvement, and not before time, either. I was always amazed that I had to go to that much trouble. This useful feature will soon be rolled out to all Garmin Edge units that are compatible with Connect IQ (i.e. pretty much all of them).
Also, the 1030 will alert you to nearby Strava segments. Previously, you had to plan it all in advance and download segments to your unit. It will also give you real-time data on those nearby segments. Of course, to access Strava segments on your bike at all, you do need to have a premium subscription. However, if you can afford a Garmin Edge 1000 or 1030, $59 per year for a Strava subscription is probably not going to break your bank. (It is money well spent, in my opinion – read more about the benefits of Strava here.)
Maps and Navigation on the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
Trendline Popularity Routing: this is a a brand new mapping feature on the Garmin Edge 1030. When you tell it to plot a route for you, it draws on its massive database of real life cyclists to choose the routes most popular with cyclists. I could have used this in Paris, where Google Maps kept sending me on suicide missions through the densest traffic I have ever seen in my life!
This is an intelligent feature: for example, if you are using your mountain bike profile, it will select routes that are popular and that make sense for a mountain bike. If you are on a road bike, it won’t send you down a gravel path! Basically, it will differentiate between road, mountain and gravel categories. Terminator movies notwithstanding, I don’t mind intelligent computers if they make my life easier!
I predict that this feature will not be rolled out to other Garmin Edge bike computers any time soon as it is a unique selling point on the 1030. However, at some point in the middle to distant future, it will almost certainly be rolled out to the other units. It’s just too good not to be shared with other units.
Turn-by-turn Directions with the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
Both have this, and the Edge 1030 also gives you alerts of upcoming sharp turns. This works well, and helps you not ride off the road!
The New Up Front Mount on the Garmin Edge 1030
Out Front Mounts are cool, but they are not new. However, the 1030 introduces a more flush design, to minimize air drag (taking inspiration from the Wahoo bike computers, perhaps). The mount is lightweight, and solid as a rock. I cannot say that it helps me cycle any quicker, but it sure is handily placed. Attaching Varia devices gets a lot easier with the 1030, as Garmin Varia devices can be attached to the power points on the out front mount. (Here is my review of Garmin’s safety feature, Varia Vision.)
Aesthetic Differences between the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
With this update, the Edge 1030 now has the sleek, high quality look that the Edge 820 and Edge 520 have. Aesthetically, it is a lovely upgrade from the Edge 1000. I have to say, I love the look and feel of the 1030.
Rider to Rider Messaging
With the Garmin Edge 1030 you can message other cyclists directly, using canned replies (such as “Cannot speak now” and “Be home soon” (yeah right!) and “Sent from my Garmin Edge 1030”!) This is a new feature on the Garmin Edge 1030.
However, this feature is limited, in that you can only message other cyclists if both of you have a Garmin Edge 1030. This feature will probably not be rolled out to other Garmin Edge bike computers any time soon, as it is a selling feature for the 1030. However, it will surely be rolled out at some point, because restricting it to the 1030 units makes it not very useful. For messaging to succeed, a mass user baser is required – bit of a Catch 22 for Garmin there!
Bottom Line on the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 1000
- Buy the Edge 1030 if you don’t already have an Edge 1000, and you want the largest possible screen with the longest possible battery life, and best possible touch screen performance in pouring rain. Or if you just want the new features, such as improved Strava connectivity and the Rider to Rider Messaging. It is hard to believe that anyone would buy it just to be able to send canned messages to other 1030 owners, but if that is what you want – go for it 🙂
- Bear in mind that if you don’t have a 1000, and you just want incredible bike computer powers and mapping, the Edge 820 is a lot cheaper and could be a good option. The only major difference between these two is – again – size and battery power. The Edge 820 claims 15 hours of battery life, and has no external battery option, so you are comparing 44 hours to 15 hours. And as you can see from the graphic, it is a lot smaller. In my experience, older cyclists (such as me) sometimes battle to see data and maps on the smaller bike computers while cycling.
- Do not buy the Edge 1030 if you already have the Edge 1000. Unless you do marathons rides and the additional external battery would be extremely useful for you, or you are a Strava junkie, or if (like me) you live in a rain forest!
- Buy the Edge 1000 if you don’t care about the larger size or the extra battery life. But only if the Edge 1000 is very much cheaper. Usually, it does not make sense to buy something that is out of date, unless the older unit is still excellent, and the price difference is so big that it becomes a no-brainer. April 2019 update: this was the case until a couple of months ago, but now the Edge 1000 price has shot back up, so that it costs almost as much as the 1030. This being the case, I am not sure why anyone would buy it. Unless you want to get a great deal on a Used or Refurbished Edge 1000 from Amazon.
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