The new GARMIN Edge 1040 Solar

Yes, it recharges itself and yes, it helps you lay watt bombs when you go out on a Sunday.

Well, you still have to push on the pedals. But the new Garmin Edge 1040 Solar has a whole host of new features and I was delighted to try them out (and to get my mates all excited).

Let's start with the unboxing: an experience, as usual.

Discover the product

Iconic matt grey packaging, a refined computer cradled in the centre that’s just waiting to be fitted to my bike, the promise of a bunch of data to measure and manage my outings. Can’t wait!

I was reassured to see that the format has not been increased tenfold: the Edge 1040 Solar looks very similar to the previous Edge 1030 Plus, with just a few extra millimetres of thickness. So yes, it’s big, but it’s not a tablet either, and it can hold up to 9 clearly legible data fields. The screen is touch-sensitive, and there are the usual three buttons: ‘on/off’ on the side, ‘lap’ on the bottom left, and ‘start activity’ on the bottom right, so if you’re familiar with the Garmin world, you won’t feel out of place.

A nice surprise when you switch the device on: the UX has clearly been thoroughly reworked, with slimmer, more aesthetically pleasing lines and icons. Beautiful! The colours and clarity of the screen are insane, but navigating the menus and settings options is still very much in Garmin’s signature, so there’s no need to get out the instruction manual.

Features of the GARMIN Edge 1040 Solar

Of course, you’ll find everything that’s essential and classic on a bike computer, with some pretty amazing goodies thrown in for good measure. So whether you’re riding gravel, mountain bike, road or anything else, you can choose to display your speed, distance, ascent, heart rate, power if you have a sensor, time, temperature etc., and organise them on the various screens as you see fit. You can even do it from the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone. The system is well designed and intuitive, and synchronisation is fast. You don’t need an engineering degree either to link compatible external devices such as power sensors, heart rate monitors, Varia radars etc. to the Edge 1040 Solar, and some (such as lights) can be controlled directly from the screen.

In short, all the functions you’d expect from a Garmin Edge, with all the precision and efficiency of the brand. What my cycling soul discovered was the new Stamina function, which works in conjunction with a power sensor and a heart rate belt. And then a whole new world of possibilities opened up during the Tuesday evening club outings… After a certain period of calibration, during which the device gets to know you (reduced if you already have a bunch of data in your Garmin Connect), a small bar tells you how much time or how many kilometres you can hold out for, depending on your instant effort and how much you’ve already given on the ride. If you attack and go into the red, the reserves are depleted more quickly and the bar is… red (well done Sherlock). If you hide in the wheels, it’s displayed in green and you gain Stamina. Basically, it’s like when you’re on the petrol tank in a car: you have to manage all the way to the pump so you don’t end up with a crisp, and the new Edge 1040 Solar offers a nice little helping hand in that respect.

There’s also the Power function, which shows how much power you have left for a given effort, and ClimbPro, which lists the climbs on your itineraries and displays the distance remaining to the summit. More pretty graphics that vary between green and red (orange if you’re lucky), the perfect reflection of the burns on your thighs.

Finally, like many Garmin devices in recent years, the Edge 1040 Solar quickly gets to know you and offers you specific training sessions. It’s up to you to decide how useful they are to you. Personally, I tend to follow my mood and the guy in front. You can analyse your ride in detail on the Garmin Connect application as soon as it is synchronised and, if you have linked everything up correctly, it can be downloaded directly to Strava too.

A quick note: if, like me, you don’t want your averages to be reset to zero every 10 km, remove the default ‘Autolap’ function as soon as possible.


That’s the big difference with this new model. Thanks to the solar cells (which can be seen around the screen), autonomy is greatly increased. I finished yesterday’s outing with 92% battery, and I came home today with 94%. Even if maths isn’t your thing, the Solar system does a pretty good job. Admittedly, I spent the summer in the Swiss heatwave and haven’t (yet) had a chance to test the system in cloudy weather.

What you need to remember

And so, after several trials of this new GARMIN Edge 1040 Solar, it’s a success once again. The product’s finish is exceptional, with its aluminium stand, beautiful exterior finish, breathtaking functions and, above all, virtually unlimited battery life – enough to make you lose your charging cable in between.

What you’ll love:

  • Now with metal fastenings, quality and security.
  • The Stamina function, to find out if you can still put one in the dent
  • The colours and clarity of the screen, a notch above the 1030, which was already incredible

What you won’t like:

  • It’s still not possible to download a route directly from Strava onto the device; you have to use a PC and Garmin Connect, then synchronise. It’s time consuming and in 2022…