£499.99 How does Garmin’s lat­est top-end com­puter fare for tri?

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS - JS

The Edge 1030 re­places the Edge 1000 as Garmin’s lat­est pre­mium GPS cy­cle com­puter. The RRP stays the same at £499.99, and comes with a gen­er­ous but not over­whelm­ing help­ing of new fea­tures that make it more evo­lu­tion than rev­o­lu­tion. It’s hefty and takes up an en­tire stem if you use Garmin’s stan­dard mounts, which makes their new out­front mount (in­cluded in the box) all the more use­ful, de­signed to place the com­puter flush with your bars.

So, what’s it got that an Edge 1000 hasn’t? Well, there’s the clean, sim­ple in­ter­face that ap­pears on the Edge 820, the dis­play is big­ger and the touch screen is markedly bet­ter in the wet. Most of the new tech­ni­cal fea­tures, such as the in­te­gra­tion of Strava Routes, are avail­able on the 1000 and 820 as ad­di­tional Garmin Con­nect Mo­bile apps. Some ex­am­ples of new unique fea­tures on the 1030 in­clude ‘find your friends’, a built-in di­rect mes­sag­ing sys­tem that you can only use to com­mu­ni­cate with other 1030 users; pre-loaded Strava Routes, Train­ingPeaks and BestBikeS­plit apps; new met­rics such as fit­ness load and stress scores; and the com­pat­i­bil­ity with a bat­tery pack (sold sep­a­rately), which you can at­tach to the unit to ex­tend bat­tery life to a mas­sive 24hrs. This won’t be needed for 99% of triathletes, and the 1030 has a much im­proved bat­tery life of up to 20hrs any­way.

Us­ing the 1030 is in­tu­itive and sim­ple, with up to 10 met­rics view­able on one data screen. You can con­nect Garmin Varia lights and con­trol them through the unit, and even cus­tomise Shi­mano Di2 gears to con­trol them. Connected fea­tures are im­pres­sive, with in­te­grated Wi-Fi so you can up­date the unit with­out a phone, live track­ing and the stan­dard au­to­matic sync­ing with Garmin Con­nect and Strava. Map­ping is eas­ily the most ex­ten­sive you can get on a cy­cle GPS, with turn-by-turn nav­i­ga­tion and new fea­tures in­clud­ing alerts that warn you of a sharp turn, and Trend­line pop­u­lar­ity rout­ing that pulls user-gen­er­ated data from Garmin Con­nect to sug­gest the best bike routes.

So un­less over half your rides in­volve tour­ing ad­ven­tures, we don’t think there’s much rea­son to get the Edge 1030 over the 820 or 520. They both of­fer turn-by-turn route nav­i­ga­tion on saved cour­ses and pump out all the data you need for train­ing and rac­ing. While Garmin have the cy­cle GPS mo­nop­oly, with the much-an­tic­i­pated re­lease of Ham­mer­head’s Ka­roo due soon and Wa­hoo Fit­ness stak­ing their claim in the mar­ket, the Edge 1030 isn’t the mar­ket-crush­ing in­no­va­tion it should be.

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