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Garmin Edge 1040 Solar Is the First Solar Charging, Touchscreen, Handlebar-Mount Bike Computer

The Garmin Edge 1040 Solar gives cyclists a reason to navigate from our handlebars again, not just from our wrists or phones.

The first solar-charging handlebar bike computer, the new Garmin 1040 Solar is a 3.5-inch screen GPS bike computer that makes it easy to see where you are and where you’re going. It’s easier than ever to zoom in and zoom out to find yourself on the map. The computer is loaded with trail maps, and it connects to Trailforks, a great source of route information for mountain bikers.

You can also create or upload courses; the computer guides you on that route, turn by turn signal. If you also wear a Garmin watch, you can track your ride from your wrist by pairing the two. I broadcast my heart rate from my wrist to my computer by adding the watch as a sensor, which completed my metrics and linked them all to my ride.

In short, the ability to charge the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar adds a compelling reason to consider a handlebar-mounted computer instead of relying on phones or watches. The incredible amount of functionality now comes with long battery life, which addresses a primary concern.

Garmin 1040 Solar
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

Solar Charging and Enhanced Menus

On long day, backcountry bike rides where I can’t recharge the Edge 1040 Solar at night, this unit is easy. It has 45 hours or more of battery life and about 100 hours of battery in battery-saver mode.

The Edge 1040 Solar screen, with Garmin’s Power Glass solar charging lens, gave me an extra 42 minutes per hour when I was riding all day. Even when I’m in partial shade, the unit charges. I can tell because the perimeter of the screen turns orange when the unit catches sunlight.

In the past, I found Garmin’s menus a pain. With the release of Side 1040, Garmin has simplified its menus so that the functions I want are easier to find. It’s easy to customize the screen, add sensors, follow routes, and more. When I load a route, the screen is so big that I can see a course while riding.

The computer also has better connectivity than any other device I’ve used, short of a personal locator beacon like inReach Mini 2. The computer quickly found a GPS signal. Multiband GNSS provides more accurate GPS positioning in challenging riding environments such as dense urban areas or under deep tree cover. Tree cover is an issue in the Northeast where I live.

The Edge 1040 Solar charges via USB-C, which is quick and easy. It comes with a bunch of mounts, including a new MTB mount that protects the computer from damage, even during a crash.

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar Data Collection

the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar collects an insane amount of data, including some Garmin-specific metrics, like Grit and Flow, which are relative measures of how hard a ride is and how smoothly you’re flowing way They can learn over time from a rider’s habits.

Another sensor captures airtime and later provides metrics such as hang time and jump metrics. They are not always accurate. When I turned the sensor on, it beeped constantly even though I didn’t get my wheels off the ground. But I was encouraged to improve little parts of the path to get my beep.

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar as a Training Tool

Although that is not my primary use, the computer analyzes and classifies my strengths and weaknesses as a cyclist to help me focus on improving. It also helped prepare me for a specific course.

Recommended power targets help me stay at target output levels during a race or ride. And real-time stamina insights monitor and track my exertion level.

The Edge 1040 Solar gathers fitness insights such as VO2 max, recovery time, training load, training focus, and more from Firstbeat Analytics. This data can track progress toward goals.

The Garmin Edge 1040 can also provide daily exercise suggestions based on training load and VO2 max. Users can also sync workouts from Garmin Connect and other training applications, such as TrainingPeaks.

On the trail or on the road, the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar keeps track of heat and altitude acclimation, and it can be set to signal when to eat and drink. Swipe the screens on a big hill, and it will inform the rider of the remaining climb. Garmin’s ClimbPro will provide the distance and grade.

I can view the training data on the computer or the Garmin Connect app on my phone to set up and view my cycling activity, profile, and statistics. I was also concerned to learn that the Garmin 1040 Solar syncs with the brand’s Tacx trainers.

Robust Navigational Tools

Turn-by-turn navigation is quick, accurate, and much improved from previous versions. When I visit an area I’m not familiar with, I use high-contrast, ride-type-specific maps that show heat maps from Trendline — like Strava, based on billions of miles of ride data that collected from users who upload Garmin Connect.

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar Keeps You Safe

Garmin solar charging computer has safety and tracking features like incident detection, assistance, and LiveTrack to let your contacts follow your route even when you’re far away. Group messaging and tracking let cyclists stay in touch if they get separated from the pack.

And the Edge 1040 Solar is compatible with Garmin’s Varia rearview radars, so cyclists are warned of vehicles behind and continuously captures video footage while riding.

The Garmin Edge 1040 Solar also works with inReach devices so cyclists can view and respond to messages, share trip data, and trigger an interactive SOS even when off-grid.

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar
(Photo/Berne Broudy)


“Cyclists expect as much from their GPS bike computer as they do from themselves, and that’s why we’re thrilled to introduce the Edge 1040 Solar,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales.

“Sturdy, accurate, and ready to go the distance, the Edge 1040 Solar is the pinnacle of GPS bike computers. No matter where you ride or what bike you choose to use, the Edge 1040 Solar is ready for any adventure – from remote gravel trails to epic climbs.

After a few weeks of using this computer in the US and abroad, I generally agree with this statement. However, I have a few complaints. I’d love to see a more prominent, brighter icon representing me on the map. And the price will make it prohibitive for some users.

But there’s no question that this computer is an excellent value for serious cyclists who care about their metrics and routes.

The Garmin Edge 1040 comes in this solar-charging model oa standard nonsolar version.

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