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Garmin Edge 1040 Solar brings huge battery life and top location tracking

Optional built-in Power Glass solar panels feed power to the rechargeable battery while you ride to bring 100-hour run time to new unit.

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This article first appeared on CyclingTips.

High-end GPS cycling computers typically have claimed battery lives somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 hours — more than enough for most everyday users. But if you’re an ultra-distance rider that needs way, way more than that, Garmin’s new Edge 1040 Solar is claimed to run for up to 100 hours, thanks to built-in solar panels that help feed power to the onboard rechargeable battery while you ride.

There are some caveats to that claim, however. Garmin says the Edge 1040 Solar has to be operating in Battery Saver mode, and that figure assumes a certain level of sunlight intensity. Nevertheless, even if Garmin’s claims are wildly inaccurate, there should still be more than enough run time for something like the 350-mile course of Unbound Gravel XL, or even a brevet like Paris-Brest-Paris, without needing to hook the unit up to external power.

Don’t need that much run time? Garmin is offering an identical unit without the solar charging technology called the Edge 1040.

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Both of the new Edge 1040 models also incorporate Garmin’s latest “multi-band GNSS technology” for more accurate positioning and coverage, which might prove particularly useful when there’s poor line-of-sight to orbiting satellites, such as in dense urban areas, mountains, or heavy tree cover. There are also more cycling-specific features, such as a built-in coaching function that offers suggestions based on inputted strengths and weaknesses, and recommended power output targets.

A 3.5″ diagonal screen provides plenty of area for nav functions.

Like with other high-end Garmin units that came before, riders can get a variety of performance-minded prompts on-screen, too, such as VO2 Max, reminders to eat and drink, recovery time suggestions, and estimates on how well you’re adjusting to heat and/or altitude. And if you’re following a course, ClimbPro will provide on-screen visual data on the remaining ascent distance and slope.

As Garmin’s largest cycling GPS model, the Edge 1040 leans heavily on its navigation capabilities, with popularity-based routing (based on the company’s native Garmin Connect data, not Strava or another third-party provider) and integration with Trailforks for mountain bike use.

And of course, Garmin’s new Edge 1040 models are compatible with existing Varia accessories (such as the new Varia RCT715 radar and camera unit), and provide on-screen notifications for stuff like calls, text messages, and weather alerts.

It’s unclear just how accurate these sorts of training metrics are, but for many riders, any guidance will be more useful than none.

Perhaps most interesting, however, is — finally! — the ability to port over settings from another Edge device so you don’t have to re-configure all of your screens, sensors, and ride types. Got your older Edge set up just how you want it? Don’t worry; now the associated app will copy those settings over to your new Edge, too.

We don’t have one of the new Edge 1040 models on hand to test just yet, but should have one any day now. In the meantime, they’re available for sale now. Retail price on the Edge 1040 Solar is US$750, while the non-solar Edge 1040 is US$600 (pricing for other regions is to be confirmed).

More information can be found at www.garmin.com.