This test was a must for us, of course. And the question of who would mount the new Garmin flagship model on his bike was also quickly answered. After all, Guido knows his way around the Garmin universe. He has not only tested the previous model extensively, but has also used it privately in the course of numerous training sessions. So what is the ‘Plus‘ all about?
Examining the ‘Plus‘ update
“A new boss is in town! The undisputed number one has been given a comprehensive update and received a ‘Plus‘ in its name in return. Like its predecessor, the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus is a genuine all-rounder and combines navigation and smart training functions. Garmin has its roots in the field of navigation and managed to set new standards for bicycle computers in this regard. Today, and this is one of the main features of the new 1030 Plus, Garmin is also strong in terms of training management and evaluation, so much so that even the market leader Polar has been caught up or overtaken.
Besides the clear step forward in terms of training control, the Plus is supposed to be even faster and more precise when it comes to navigation. I was curious and allowed to test the brand new Edge 1030 Plus for several weeks.
As the name suggests, we are dealing with an update rather than a brand new model. The case hasn’t changed much, the dimensions, the weight and the 3.5 inch color touch display with a resolution of 282×470 pixels have remained the same. The color of the Edge 1030 Plus, though, differs from that of its predecessor, the new version is black and thus appears considerably darker.
Key specifications Edge 1030 Plus
- Size: 58 x 114 x 19 mm
- Weight: 122 g
- Touchscreen Color Display
- Dimensions: 3.5 inch; 47 x 76 mm; 88.9 mm diagonal
- Resolution: 282 x 470 pixels
- Connectivity: WLAN, ANT+™, Bluetooth®
- Memory: 16 GB, micro-SD expansion possible
- Battery: Lithium-ion battery for up to 20 hours
- Ambient light sensor
So the innovations are limited to the functional hardware within the device as well as the software. The internal memory has grown, the battery will last for up to 24 hours, which is 4 hours more than before (Garmin seems to have a heart for the participants of the 24-hour ride at the Nürburgring :]).
With the Plus, the 1030 is no longer just your bike computer but also your (demanding) training partner, making daily suggestions for your workout. As already mentioned, the navigation has been improved in terms of quickness and accuracy. And the 1030 is getting more attractive for mountain bikers, too: The great MTB feature ‘TrailFork‘ is now also available on the 1030 Plus (previously only on Edge 530 and Edge 830). As you probably already know: this feature integrates relevant data about trails directly into the bike map. One of the possible applications is the so-called Foresight mode. When the rider stops, the device will show him the forks that lie ahead as well as his own position on the ‘trail map’.
Of course, everything is again done via the Garmin Connect App. Setting up the Edge 1030 Plus is very quick. Of course, everything is again done via the Garmin Connect App. Setting up the Edge 1030 Plus is very quick. The sensor data can be transferred from the ‘old’ Garmin device directly to the 1030 Plus if you want to. Once you have done that, the Plus immediately connects to the cadence, chest strap, gear system etc. However, saved tracks must be transferred manually to the new device. The connection to Strava, Komoot, GPSies or TrainingPeaks also works perfectly. Your data is already saved in your profile anyway. Once synchronized, everything is there.
Navigation means both comfort and safety. And it’s quite a great way to discover unknown routes. That’s why the demands on the abilities of the devices are constantly increasing. And it’s no surprise that navigation is the ultimate strength of the Edge 1030 Plus. That’s why the demands on the abilities of the devices are constantly increasing. And it’s no surprise that navigation is the ultimate strength of the Edge 1030 Plus. Another advantage of the 1030: the display size. Frequently, I’ve found that the displays of the 530 and the 830 are somewhat too small. On the device itself, there are pre-installed bike maps for Europe, Africa and North America. Also integrated: worldwide MTB trail data from Trailforks, plus altitude data, points of interest and searchable addresses. All of this is available without a connection to any platform. In practice, navigation works smoothly compared to other devices. The problem with all predecessors was the response when you deviate from a specified route! There was some justified criticism in this respect, and, in my case too, this function has repeatedly been the cause of trouble. With the new Edge 1030 Plus, things are different! Garmin has introduced a new route recalculation feature: In order to test this new functionality, I often deviated from the suggested route towards the end of my tours, triggering a recalculation time and time again. Everything worked very well. The calculation is fast. I actually even had the possibility to choose whether I wanted to have the route recalculated or not. That’s exactly how it should be.
Garmin has taken two steps forward in terms of training management. Based on the intelligent workout generator of the Garmin Connect app, the new Edge 1030 offers indoor and outdoor trainings. In addition to the proven and tested functions, such as VO2max, FTP, training status, etc., there are now advanced training schedule recommendations. These consist of training suggestions as well as training instructions, which aim at improving your overall endurance and fitness. However, you will need to be equipped with a heart rate belt and a power meter for this to work. Additionally, you can also synchronize contents from other apps with the Edge, for example training plans from TrainingPeaks and TrainerRoad.
The handling is great. Proven features have been left as they were, in line with the slogan ‘never change a winning team’. The long waiting time for route calculations, which was by far the most annoying aspect of the previous version, has been significantly improved. The touch screen is extremely responsive, easy to read even in strong sunlight and will react even during heavy rain showers. The battery life indicated by Garmin covers a full day. 24 hours are a lot. However, I couldn’t test or verify this value in practice. On the other hand, there was enough battery power left even after a long 180 km tour to make the 24 hours sound quite realistic. There is, of course, always the possibility to use additional batteries. What’s more, I have not been able to test the MTB functions yet, but this will all come at a later date.
The name itself raises the most important question: Does the device have any additional features? Short question, short answer: The benchmark model has succeeded in extending its lead even further. It convinces in every respect: more battery life, old weaknesses have been corrected (lame routing), it is noticeably faster than the version without ‘Plus‘, there are many new features to explore, and it also looks quite stylish in black. From my point of view, it’s been a completely useful and impressive update!
The relatively high price of the Garmin 1030 was already a topic of discussion in our test series. And things are no different with the Plus version than with its predecessor: the Garmin 1030 Plus is only worth buying when you are really serious and passionate about cycling as a sport. In this case, however, the device is actually more than worth its purchase price. Because one thing is clear: it will offer you a lot and keep doing so for a very long time.”