My Garmin Edge 1040 Review: EVERYTHING(-ish) you need to know

In this post, my somewhat quick review of the Garmin Edge 1040 bike computer.


The Edge 1040 is a very sophisticated top end bike computer.

Affix it to your handlebars or the out front mount and it will do everything short of coordinating the latest SpaceX rocket launch.

Which brings us onto the first of ‘a number’ (to be determined) of things I like about the Edge 1040.

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It’s The Do-It-All Bike Computer

If you’re looking at buying an Edge 1040, I have to assume you have a fair handle on what a bike GPS should do. Or you don’t but you’re loaded.

Either way, think of a velo-puter function. Got one? Yes, the 1040 can do that.

Wait, no, that’s filthy. For Mercx sake. Wash your mind out. It absolutely cannot do that.

But genuinely, the 1040 does everything a serious, or ridiculous, performance-focused cyclist could want from a bike computer, short of proposing a clarky cat micro-dosing regimen that will evade the test-wallahs.

It has every ride recording, navigation, safety or training feature my tiny homo velo-rectus brain can comprehend.

It tracks my fitness as I train, calculates how long I need to rest and suggests what session type I should complete next.

Uploading and following a course is dead easy. Route calculation is super fast.

Basically, if you buy an Edge 1040, you are guaranteed to win your next game of bike GPS top trumps down the pub.

Which I know we all play.

A Brief Interlude On ClimbPro

Sure, this really fits in the previous section. But I very like the new 1040 version of ClimbPro, so it gets it’s own moment of truth (couple of paragraphs).

ClimbPro has been around a while. It’s the climb(obviously)-specific screen that pops up when you’re riding a section of road that Garmin identifies as a climb. It’s very good for a rider with a weak mental resolve (let’s call him, er … ‘Montey’) that needs to know how much of a climb remains and how steep it’s gonna get.

Where the previous version relied on you following a pre-calculated route, ClimbPro on the 1040 (and on the 540 and 840) now identifies climbs in real-time, wherever you are riding, and flashes up the key stats: gradient, length, time until I pass out.

All with a nice colourful gradient chart, and a section of map screen showing the climb.

You can also use ClimbPro on the 1040 to search the area around you for climbs. Climb Explore is one of the pull down quick access screens, and lists nearby ascents and all their key climbstats, which you can filter and sort to your (over-stoked) heart’s content.

The Hammerhead Karoo 2 and the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT and ROAM also have similar climb-specific features, and both are now ‘always-on’ climb identifiers.

So the new Garmin ClimbPro version isn’t unique. But it’s good and I’m finding it very useful, so it’s a strong tick in the positives column for the Edge 1040.

The New Garmin User Interface On The Edge 1040

Previous Edge generations relied on a warren of menus and sub-menus.

The user interface on the 1040 is a little closer to that of a smartphone. Not quite Hammerhead Karoo close, but getting there.

The home screen has more usable and informative widgets, the pull down quick access menus are very useful. The actual main menu thingy is easier to navigate.

Garmin has successfully retained the vast number of features, including sophisticated training wizardry, whilst simultaneously making the device a bit easier to user for the non-Garmin expert.

Garmin Edge 1040

Garmin's brand new tippity-top of the range bike GPS. The Solar option recharges whilst you ride. Super powerful with an easier-to-use UI than Garmins of old.

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Sure, there’s a sub-menu or two still lurking. But the whole vibe is ‘touchscreen first’ and it’s a big step forward.

And talking of the screen….

Its Got a Nice Big One (Screen)

The 1040 has a 3.5” display. Mini by smartphone standards, but as big as it gets in the bike GPS realm.

It offers more than enough screen real estate to display a very usable map, or a combination of the colourful ClimbPro gradient chart and a number of other vital data attributes.

And, joy of joys, Garmin now actually makes use of the space with bigger font sizes and less white space. A gripe of mine and many on older devices.

Battery Life Is Amazing

I mean, it’s excessive really. Even without the solar option and based on ‘demanding’ use, Garmin claims 35 hours.

There’s no 35-hour battery test available in these legs, but I can confirm it goes a lot of rides between charges.

Basically, if you want the bike computer with the longest battery life, and suffer not one iota of range anxiety on the most mahoosive of rides, then the 1040 is that computer.

And when the occasion does come to charge it, you can finally do so with a USB-C cable. So it sucks up leccy faster than ye olde micro USB bike GPSs that your grandpa told you about.

It’s a Bit Bling

Or if bling’s not your thing, I’ll rephrase it: the build quality is excellent. Certain elements tending towards luxury rather than being strictly necessary.

The 1040 has a luvverly machined metal cleat type thing on the back. The plastics used feel top notch. Even the charging port cover has a nice gun-metal grey sheen.

And just in case you fear dropping and damaging it, the 1040 is the only bike computer I’ve bought that comes with a protective rubber sheath in the box.

So, like me, it’s a sexy piece.

But in the interest of political balance, here are a few things to consider before taking out a second mortgage and trading in the contents of your nutsack.

That Screen (Again)

Whilst large, relatively, the display on the 1040 is not as beautiful as some of its competitors.

I’ve already mentioned the Karoo 2. That screen is a wor-stunner. The BOLT V2 is similarly bright, crisp and contrasty.

The 1040 is less bright and less ‘high def’.

But then it’s a trade off. You don’t get this many powerful features and the excellent battery life, without accepting a screen that sucks less atomic juice.

As we physicists call it.

(Shh, Whisper It) Solar Charging Might Be a Gimmick

Useful perhaps in the tour de French sunshine. Less compelling in the gloomy English summertime.

I’m not sure it’s worth paying the extra to get it, particularly when the non-solar 1040 goes longer than your grandpa, him again, on uppers.

Of course, being a bovine double dangler, I bought the solar version.

Are There Alternatives To The Edge 1040?

A very sensible question. And the answer is yes.

The Edge 1030 Plus, the predecessor to the 1040, remains available and is a very good option.

It doesn’t have Garmin’s new super-UI, and the 1030 Plus version of ClimbPro doesn’t spot climbs in real-time. It only kicks in when you ride a pre-loaded route.

But in day-to-day use, it probably does 95% of the stuff that you can find on the 1040.

For a deep dive into the cool blue waters of magnificent clarity, check out my detailed comparison of the Edge 1040 and 1030 Plus.

In terms of other bike computers with a nice large touchscreen (in fact a beautiful one) and an attractive UI, we have the Hammerhead Karoo 2. And would you know it, here is my Karoo 2 full review (revoo).


All told, the Edge 1040 is a phenomenal bike computer. I loves it.

Don’t get me wrong. I won’t use half the features on a regular basis.

The training elements are overkill for whatever it is that I do on a bike (which certainly isn’t following a structured and disclipined training regimen).

The solar charging is definitely in the ‘somewhat nice to have’ rather than ‘must have’ bracket.

And it’s not a small investment. For the cost of a 1040, you could buy two bike computers. Or a bike computer, radar and a nine McNugget meal.

But then I didn’t take up road cycling to make small investments. Go big or go home, as my mum says.

And in this case, by spending quite big, you got a tippity top bike computer.

(By the way, read this post if you want to compare the Edge 1040 with the 840.)

Garmin Edge 1040

Garmin's brand new tippity-top of the range bike GPS. The Solar option recharges whilst you ride. Super powerful with an easier-to-use UI than Garmins of old.

Check price - Amazon Check price - Competitive Cyclist
If you click this link and make a purchase, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic road cyclist with only moderate talent. He started Sportive Cyclist in 2013 to record the journey to his first 100 mile ride, the RideLondon 100. Over time the blog has expanded to include training advice, gear reviews and road cycling tales, all from the perspective of a not-very-fit MAMIL. Since you're here, Monty would also like you to check out his YouTube channel. Also, Monty really needs to stop referring to himself in the third person.

2 thoughts on “My Garmin Edge 1040 Review: EVERYTHING(-ish) you need to know”

  1. Hi
    Have you really used teh Garmin 1040?? Why not tel about all teh software problems, it is totally useless becuase of lot of bugs in the software. Why even write a review on a not working unit?? If this one periodically drops all sensors , it is useless. I have to stop 3-4 times on every ride to reboot it!
    Please tell the world the thruth so no more people need to suffer. The ClimbPro function is also so inexact so it is useless! When you are again going downhill it shows that you still are on teh way up!

    • That doesn’t marry with my experience. Maybe sounds like you have a defective unit (re the sensors). What firmware version are you on?


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