Edge 1030 Review

Garmin Edge 1030 Review – Great For Serious Cyclists!

garmin edge 1030 review

At a Glance: Quick Ratings

Heart Rate Functions


Fitness / Sport Features


Ease of Use


Battery Life


Where To Get It

A Deep Dive Into The Garmin Edge 1030 

The Garmin Edge 1030 takes all the best features of the Edge 820 and makes it bigger and, slightly, better.

It looks better, the screen is bigger and more suited to interacting with maps, and the battery life is longer than the 820. 

It does have some downpoints, so read on to decide whether the new Garmin is better under the hood as well as superficially.

At the time of this review – Feb 2021 – it’s not really worth the extra money unless you are desperate for the minor modifications and larger screen.

The bottom line is this:

Garmin's 820 is a BRILLIANT GPS bike computer for all cyclists. From elite cyclist performance monitoring to recreation riders looking for an all in one mapping solution. 

The Garmin Edge 1030 has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic

garmin edge 1030 review by cardiocritic
  • Who Is It For?

  • Video Review

  • Pros

  • Cons

Just like the Garmin Edge 820 or 1000 – the 1030 is aimed at cyclists of all levels, abilities and riding styles.

It’s equally at home on the handlebars of an ELITE cyclist looking for the ultimate in performance monitoring with advanced training status feedback, power metering as it is with a TOURING cyclist demanding excellent mapping capabilities.

However, as implied in the introduction – for many cyclists the 820 is a cheaper alternative – also featuring advanced fitness monitoring and GPS route planning / mapping.

edge 1030 showing maps

Main Differences – Edge 1030 vs 820 vs 1000

There are more than a dozen minor improvements on the Edge 1030 not found on the 820 or the 1000, however, there are only a couple of innovative NEW features. Let’s look at physical aspect first.

  • Size – the 1030 has a viewable screen size of 3.5″ (88.9 mm) diagonal compared to the 820 of 2.3″ (58.4 mm) and 1000 of 3" (76 mm).

    Technically, there are a couple of standout new features, NOT found on the 820 or 1000.

  • Popularity Routing – if you let the 1030 set your riding route for you, it will make the route from the most popular roads in your area. Clever algorithms send you down the same track as other fellow cyclists have ridden

  • Advanced Training Status – I love this feature also found on my own Garmin Fenix 5. The 1030 provides valuable feedback on everything from recovery status to current FTP score and a 7 day rolling Training Load

  • Improved Battery Life – the Edge 820 and 1000 have a Garmin stated battery life of 15 hours in regular GPS mode, the Edge 1030 extends that by 33% to a solid 20 hours.

  • Rider to Rider Messaging – a clever new function that allows riders to send messages between each other without having to take their smartphone out. I can see how this could be useful, however, at present it only communicates to other 1030 devices.

For more information on how to use these new and improved features, take a look at the official user manual here

Training Status Advisor

Exercising too hard can be just as negative for an athlete as exercising too little.

Unless an athlete has access to a top coach, it’s hard to know whether your cumulative training load is yielding productive results.

That’s where Garmin’s excellent new Training Status comes into it’s own.

A new performance monitoring tool, Training Status examines your recent riding history and can feedback telling a cyclist whether they’re working on productively, peaking or overreaching. Garmin Edge devices have provided feedback on Training Load for some time now.

They have improved this feature in the 1030 with a new Anaerobic and Aerobic Training Effect.

Taking it even further, the 1030 even gives a view on your Overall Training Load. Measuring your exercise volume from the last 7 days, comparing it to the optimal range for your fitness and practice history.

edge 1030 training status recovery status ftp vo2 max

Power Metering – Get ahead with a Power Meter

If you want to ride like the UCI elites then you really need to start monitoring your pedaling power. There are some great deals available on Power Meters now.

Whether you start with a single sided Power Crank like the 4iii Precision or opt for the Garmin Vector 2 giving total power, power balance and much more.

garmin edge 1030 power metering balance power phase

Ride Safely from A to B with Garmin Cycle Map

If you want help getting from A to B, the 1030 can help – pre-loaded with the Garmin Cycle Map. It includes turn-by-turn navigation and safety alerts that notify of upcoming sharp turns.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to plan your own route use the built-in Round-trip routing.

Tell the Edge 1030 the distance you want to ride and a starting direction – moments later and it gives a choice of up to 3 routes. If, during the ride, you wander off route, don’t worry, it will bring you back on track.

garmin edge 1030 with route mapping

Popularity Routing – takes you down popular routes

Cyclists have uploaded millions of miles of ride data to the Garmin Connect platform. When the Garmin Edge 1030 generates a ride for you it chooses roads (and trails) most travelled by other Garmin riders.

With this new features you get to ride the roads and trails favoured by other Garmin cyclists. This is a brilliant feature when you are riding in a new area, for example when on holiday.

garmin popularity routing

Slimline Aerodynamic Styling

Rider to Rider Messaging

Strava Segments – time to PUSH the pedal to the tarmac

Strava has been one of the huge social success stories of the last decade. Bringing together cyclists of all abilities from around the globe. 

Strava is all about SEGMENTS. These segments are sections of a ride set up by your fellow riders.

Sometimes they can be a long endurance loop, a hard long hill climb, a TT circuit or just a short sprint past your local bike shop. Each time you ride a segment Strava gives your daily, yearly and overall position on that section.

strava segments distance to go

The Edge 820 has LIVE Strava Segments – the 1030 improves the presentation of this data with a second-by-second graphical comparison – showing how you compare to your PR, the KOM / QOM, or your connected friends.

Also, a new Segment Explore feature lets you view popular segments in your area – directly on your Garmin 1030.

Review of Strava Segments data post ride

strava segments 1
strava segments 2

Post Ride Data Review on Garmin Connect

Garmin’s Connect app and website give in-depth insight in to each and every work out session. The screen-grabs below are all taken from a ride using a 1030.

The level of data analysis options shown here speaks for itself. A similar level of information is available from the Garmin Connect iOs and Android smartphone apps (free)!

Map showing Route & top level Summary

garmin connect training data from edge 1030 map

Graphs of Speed, HR, Elevation, Power, Cadence, Temp & Performance

edge 1030 training data graphs heart rate power temperature elevation power watts

Training Stats

summary data from edge 1030 ride

Time in Zones (Heart Rate & Power)

time in heart rate zones time in power zones

TrainingPeaks Planning

edge 1030 plan training peaks sessions

The TrainingPeaks Connect IQ app loads your pre-planned workouts to your 1030 – putting your daily workout directly on your Edge device.

The TrainingPeaks app will guide you through each workout with feedback on interval intensity and time. After your workout, sync to TrainingPeaks and benefit from advanced analysis of each riding session.

Top Alternatives

Next Model UP

Currently, there is no next generation model of the Garmin Edge 1030, as it's still the flagship product of the Edge series. 

Next Model DOWN

The Garmin Edge 1000 is for any cyclist who wants the very best of the navigational functionality of the Edge Touring and the performance monitoring of the 820 with the added fun / competitiveness of Strava Segments!

Review Summary

If you’re working on a budget, then the 820 or 1000 offers far greater value for money, being nearly 30% cheaper at the time of writing this review (Feb 2021).

If money is not such an issue, then there is nothing else for me to say than “buy one“.

The Garmin Edge 1030 is a stunning bit of kit that gives riders of all levels the features and functions to improve performance and discover their surroundings with a large screen.

Yes, it’s fairly pricey, but that’s not enough of a reason for us awarding it anything less than a 5 Star Review Rating.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *