Garmin Edge Bike Computers Compared: Which One Should You Choose?

Garmin Edge bike computers: Edge 130 Plus, 530, 830, 1030 Plus, and Explore on a blue background

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Garmin is the industry leader in bike computers. But their lineup can be complicated for beginners. It currently includes:

  • Edge 130 Plus
  • Edge 530
  • Edge 830
  • Edge 1030 Plus
  • Edge 1040
  • Edge 1040 Solar
  • Edge Explore
  • Edge Explore 2

I will help you orient yourself in them to decide which Garmin bike computer you should buy based on your use case.

Let’s dive in.

NOTE: All Garmin Edge bike computers are also available in bundles. They include additional sensors like an HR monitor and cadence and speed sensors. The ‘MTB bundles’ include different accessories like sensors, a silicone case, and a special mount.

Garmin Edge 130 Plus

Garmin Edge 130 on a blue background
Garmin Edge 130
  • Ideal for: Beginners, people on a tight budget
  • Screen: 1.8″ (monochromatic)
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Weight: 33g
  • Full on-device navigation: No

The Garmin Edge 130 Plus is the successor of the Edge 130. It’s the most affordable Edge bike computer. 

It has the smallest screen and is light, but still offers all features most people need from a bike computer. 

It uses GPS to measure your speed, distance, etc. It also can estimate how many calories you burn.

130 Plus is compatible with additional sensors like HR monitors or power meters

You can also use it for training because it can show structured workouts. It can even display a pre-planned route.

However, it can’t recalculate it if you go off-course because it doesn’t offer advanced navigation features.

Thanks to its affordable price and simplicity, it’s ideal for beginners and people with a limited budget.

Also available at rei.com, amazon.com, wiggle.co.uk, and wiggle.com

Garmin Edge 530

Garmin Edge 530 on a blue background
Garmin Edge 530
  • Ideal for: MTB, people looking for a great value for the money
  • Screen: 2.6″ (colored)
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Battery life: 20 hours
  • Weight: 78g
  • Full on-device navigation: Yes

The Edge 530 is an upgraded version of the Edge 520 Plus. It comes with buttons and a colored display.

Thanks to the buttons, it’s suitable for mountain bikers who don’t want to deal with touchscreens. Additionally, it can measure MTB metrics like jumps, flow, grit, etc. 

Edge 530 offers most features of high-end bike computers (like the Edge 830 and Edge 1030 Plus) except for a few. For example, Points of Interest navigation is missing.

Using navigation is a pleasant experience until you need to browse the map on the device. It can be frustrating due to the lack of a touchscreen display.

However, you don’t have to be a mountain biker to use the Edge 530. It’s also suitable for roadies or gravel riders who love to get great value for the money.

Also available at trekbikes.com, amazon.com, wiggle.co.uk, and wiggle.com

Garmin Edge 830

Garmin Edge 830 on a blue background
Garmin Edge 830
  • Ideal for: People who want a touch screen display and advanced features
  • Screen: 2.6″ (colored)
  • Touchscreen: Yes
  • Battery life: 20 hours
  • Weight: 82g
  • Full on-device navigation: Yes

The Edge 830 is basically a smaller version of the Edge 1030 Plus. It has a 2.6-inch color touchscreen (3.5-inch on the 1030 Plus).

The touchscreen works fine in rainy conditions or if you sweat a lot, and with full-finger touchscreen-compatible gloves.

This bike computer is the go-to choice for many riders because of its price-value-features ratio.

It’s popular among pro cyclists and amateurs. It offers all features of the Edge 1030 Plus, except a few in a smaller, more practical form factor.

The Edge 830 belongs among the best bike computers on the market. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Also available at rei.com, amazon.com, wiggle.co.uk, and wiggle.com

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus on a blue background
Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
  • Ideal for: Those who want the best Garmin bike computer with advanced navigation features and workout suggestions
  • Screen: 3.5″ (colored)
  • Touchscreen: Yes
  • Battery life: 24 hours
  • Weight: 123g
  • Full on-device navigation: Yes

The 1030 Plus was Garmin’s flagship bike computer before the introduction of the Edge 1040 (Solar). It’s packed with so many features that you probably won’t use them all.

Its main benefits are long battery life and a large touchscreen display. Edge 1030 Plus can last up to 24 hours on heavy use and up to 48 hours on a ‘light’ use. (Source)

This bike computer can also suggest workouts based on your activities, navigate you to points of interest, and more.

When I used it for the first time, I was surprised by its responsivity and ability to customize data fields on the go quickly.

It’s not the most suitable bike computer for day-to-day riding or MTB because of its size. However, if you plan to use navigation and maps often, you will appreciate its large, easy-to-read screen.

The most significant disadvantage of Edge 1030 Plus is its hefty price. But if you want the best available on the market, you will hardly find an alternative.

Learn more in my Garmin Edge 1030 Plus review.

Also available at amazon.com, wiggle.co.uk, and wiggle.co.uk

Garmin Edge 1040 (Solar)

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar on a blue background
Garmin Edge 1040 (Solar)

Ideal for: Those who want the best Garmin bike computer with advanced navigation features and workout suggestions
Screen: 3.5″ (colored)
Touchscreen: Yes
Battery life: 35 hours (1040), 45 hours (Solar)
Weight: 126g (1040), 133g (Solar)
Full on-device navigation: Yes

The Edge 1040 and Edge 1040 Solar were introduced in June 2022.

They took the game to another level thanks to improved battery life that’s more than 30% longer than 1030 Plus, redesigned UI, and more accurate GPS thanks to dual-band GNSS.

The Solar option can even recharge itself while riding. Garmin claims it can add up to 42 minutes per hour of riding in battery saver mode in ideal conditions.

The Edge 1040 adds new features like Real-Time Stamina and a Power Guide to the Edge bike computers.

Garmin seems to be working hard to use training data better and provide helpful recommendations for improving your performance.

Additionally, you can now customize it via the Garmin Connect smartphone app. So Garmin finally tries to catch Wahoo ELEMNT bike computers.

Although the prices of the Edge 1040 and Edge 1040 Solar are high, they bring many improvements that make them more justifiable.

Learn more in my Garmin Edge 1040 review.

Garmin Edge Explore

Garmin Edge Explore on a blue background
Garmin Edge Explore
  • Ideal for: Casual cyclists and people who love adventures
  • Screen: 3.0″ (colored)
  • Touchscreen: Yes
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Weight: 114g
  • Full on-device navigation: Yes

Garmin Edge Explore stands out from Garmin’s Edge lineup. 

It’s not a head unit suitable for people who want to leverage structured training but rather for casual cyclists and people who like adventures.

Edge Explore’s main benefits are the larger display than the Edge 530 and Edge 830 and its affordable price.

It would be nice if it could offer longer battery life. Then it would be perfect for longer adventures.

But considering its pros and cons, I don’t think Edge Explore is worth it. Edge 530 and 830 provide better value for most riders. Edge Explore is very niche-specific.

Garmin Edge Explore 2

Garmin Edge Explore 2 on a blue background
Garmin Edge Explore 2
  • Ideal for: Casual cyclists and people who love adventures
  • Screen: 3.0″ (colored)
  • Touchscreen: Yes
  • Battery life: 16 hours
  • Weight: 104g
  • Full on-device navigation: Yes

Garmin Edge Explore 2 is an improved version of Explore 1.

It has a fully revamped user interface, inspired by Edge 1040, and 4 hours longer claimed battery life compared to its previous generation.

It comes with a USB-C port, and you can configure it via the Garmin Connect smartphone app, just like the Edge 1040.

Explore 2 can connect with power meters and record the data, but you won’t see them on-screen.

The last thing worth noting is that Explore 2 is available in 2 options – standard and power bundle.

If you buy the standard option, you will get a holder without charging pins, meaning you have to buy the mount separately.

Also available at jensonusa.com

The following table shows the comparison of current Garmin Edge cycling computers.

Bike ComputerBuyBatter LifeScreen SizeDisplayTouchscreenOn-Device Navigation*Live SegmentsConnectivityWaterproofingWeightMemory
Garmin Edge 1040 SolarCheck Price
Check Price (wiggle.co.uk)
45 hrs3.5inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7133g64GB
Garmin Edge 1040Check Price
Check Price (wiggle.co.uk)
35 hrs3.5inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7126g32GB
Garmin Edge 1030 PlusCheck Price
Check Price (wiggle.co.uk)
24 hrs3.5inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7123g32GB
Garmin Edge ExploreCheck Price12 hrs3.0inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7114g16GB
Garmin Edge Explore 2Check Price16 hrs3.0inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7104g16GB
Garmin Edge 830Check Price
Check Price (wiggle.co.uk)
20 hrs2.6inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX778g16GB
Garmin Edge 530Check Price
Check Price (wiggle.co.uk)
20 hrs2.6inColoredNoYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX776g16GB
Garmin Edge 130 PlusCheck Price
Check Price (wiggle.co.uk)
12 hrs1.8inMonochromaticNoNoYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX733gn/a
This table compares Garmin Edge bike computers and their features like battery life, screen size, and more.
*On-Device Navigation means that the device can recalculate the route when you are off-course.

Discontinued Garmin Edge Computers

Here are the discontinued Garmin Edge bike computers. You may still find them in online marketplaces, but they are not sold officially. 

  • Garmin Edge 20 and 25
  • Garmin Edge 130
  • Garmin Edge 200 and 205
  • Garmin Edge 305
  • Garmin Edge 500, 510, 520, and 520 Plus
  • Garmin Edge 605
  • Garmin Edge 705
  • Garmin Edge 800, 810, 820, 
  • Garmin Edge 1000, 1030
  • Garmin Edge Explore 820, Explore 1000
  • Garmin Edge Touring, Touring Plus

Overview of the Popular Garmin Edge Features

Below, I list some of the popular Garmin Edge bike computer features.

ClimbPro can show you upcoming climbs based on a pre-planned route. You will know their gradient, length, remaining distance, profile, etc.

Cycling Dynamics shows you advanced metrics such as your pedal smoothness position, bike setup, ride duration, and more. Remember, some metrics require additional sensors like pedal power meters.

Incident Detection can detect if you crash and notify your emergency contacts.

MTB Dynamics measures your jump metrics (jump count, distance, hangtime, speed, etc.), grit (overall ride difficulty), and flow (how well you maintain speed). 

Points of Interest means that the head unit will navigate you to a selected location, such as a restaurant, gas station, grocery store, etc. 

Virtual Partner set a virtual partner that you can use for pacing yourself. 

Conclusion

Here is my summary of which Garmin computer you should buy:

  • Edge 130 Plus if you are a beginner or looking for a small and affordable bike computer.
  • Edge 530 if you don’t want a touchscreen display but have access to most Garmin features.
  • Edge 830 if you look for a touchscreen bike computer packed with features in a smaller form factor than the 1030 Plus.
  • Edge 1030 Plus if you want a feature-rich bike computer with a large screen suitable for navigation.
  • Edge 1040 (Solar) if you want the latest and greatest.
  • Feel free to skip the Edge Explore. Other computers from Garmin’s lineup provide a better price-value ratio.

Or, if you want to save some bucks, you can buy older models seconds hand.

Which of the current Garmin Edge computers is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

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