Garmin Edge 1040 Solar first ride: 'Incredible tech... but do you really need to pay that much?'

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Garmin's new flagship computer might be the most advanced, perhaps even the best, head unit out there - and the hefty price tag reflects that

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Garmin’s Edge 1040 Solar offers an impressive range of features. There’s also the solar charging and the general improvements to the user experience, making the device much more intuitive to use. It’s got a very strong claim to being the most advanced head unit out there – and you can see that reflected in the price tag. If you have the money, by all means go for it, but if you’ve got a tight cycling budget to balance, you would likely be better off investing that money elsewhere. Stay tuned for our long-term review and star rating.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Solar recharging

  • +

    More intuitive user experience

  • +

    Smart pacing features

  • +

    Great GPS accuracy

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Very expensive

  • -

    Requires a power meter to get the most out of it

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Marking a distinct leap forward in the brand’s cycling computer line-up, the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar has landed. The user interface has been massively refreshed and a host of new features have been introduced, from the ‘Power Guide’ pacing function to the ‘Real-time Stamina Insights’. GPS accuracy has also been greatly improved and, of course, there’s that headline solar recharging functionality.

Garmin launching solar powered Edge 1040 is hugely important for the Brand. Prior to this, I would have argued that the Hammerhead Karoo 2 was the best cycling head unit on the market, with its brilliant touchscreen, great functionality and highly intuitive user experience. To top it all, it was also cheaper than the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus – a welcome cherry on top, but even with price aside, I’d still recommend the Karoo 2 ahead of it (in most cases).

Stefan Abram
Tech features editor

After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. 

Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third, completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12.

But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia

Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg