Today saw the launch of the new Garmin Edge 1040 and Edge 1040 Solar cycling computers. They are the flagship models in the Garmin cycling computer range, and while nobody expected them to be cheap, they still represent an extremely large investment for most of us. The non-solar model is priced at £519.99 / €599.99 / $599.99 / AU$999.00, which, credit to Garmin is no more expensive than the Edge 1030 Plus it replaces. But the cherry-on-the-cream-on-the-icing-on-the-cake model, the Edge 1040 Solar, is priced at a range-topping £629.99 / €749.99 / $749.99 / AU$1299.00.
At that price, I personally can't afford one, and while I am rather excited about the prospect of immense battery life and Garmin's guidance on how to train for an event - two of its key features - the fact remains that I can get most of the Edge 1040's functions at a much lower price point.
That's especially true given the fact that, among others, the Edge 1030 Plus is currently available with between 23 and 25% off. That's the computer that until today, was the best Garmin had to offer.
Obviously, as with any purchase, there's a balance to strike. What's your budget? What do you need from the purchase? What extra features would you like? As the budget increases, so does the size of the feature list you can have, but how far that budget can go is also in balance with something else: the price a retailer wants to set.
If you can afford the latest, greatest cycling computer from Garmin, then don't let me stop you from buying it - in fact, here, I'll make it easy for you (opens in new tab) - but if you need a new cycling computer and, like me and many others, you can't quite stretch to this pricepoint, here are the best alternative options currently available online, many of which are discounted.
UK: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus | 23% off at Wiggle
(opens in new tab)Was £519.99 | Now £399.99
The Edge 1030 Plus is the product that most closely resembles the new Edge 1040. It's almost identical in shape and size to the new model, and while it doesn't get some of the latest software or quite the same battery life claims, it's still one of the best cycling computers (opens in new tab) around. This is still a pretty steep outlay for a cycling computer, but given it's now 23% less expensive than the new model, the value for money is much easier to argue.
USA: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus | 25% off at Garmin
(opens in new tab)Was $599.99 | Now $449.99
Ironically, the best place to get the now superseded Edge 1030 Plus in the USA (and avoid buying the new model) is at Garmin itself, where there's 25% off.
USA: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus Bundle | 25% off at Mike's Bikes
(opens in new tab)Was $699.99 | Now $524.95
This bundle product comes with a heart rate monitor, speed sensor and cadence sensor, and given the discount, it's still all available for $75 less than the new model. Of course, this is still a pretty big price for a cycling computer, but it's the closest feature set available without committing to the full spend of the new model.
UK: Garmin Edge 530 | 23% off at Wiggle
(opens in new tab)Was £259.99 | Now £199.99
The Edge 530 boasts pretty much the same list of functions as the Edge 1030 Plus, but in a smaller package that loses out on the touchscreen navigation in favour of buttons. It's currently available at under £200, which is less than a third of the new Solar model. If battery is your sole concern, then you could always buy the Charge power pack at £129.99 and still be in profit.
USA: Garmin Edge 530 | 9% off at ProBikeKit
(opens in new tab)Was $313.49 | Now $313.49
The Edge 530 is already less than half the cost of the newest flagship Solar model.
If battery is your primary concern, then you could always buy the Charge power pack at $179.99 and have money left over.
UK: Garmin Edge 830 | 9% off at Wiggle
(opens in new tab)Was £349.99 | Now £315.99
The Edge 830 looks almost exactly the same as the Edge 530, but it gets the touchscreen of the more expensive models instead of button navigation. This means it's a little more expensive, but at £315.99, it's still around half of the new flagship Solar model.
Hammerhead Karoo 2
Competitive Cyclist USA: $399.00 (opens in new tab) | Wiggle UK: £359.00 (opens in new tab)
The Karoo 2 isn't currently discounted, but it's arguably the closest match to the new Garmin in terms of screen size and map clarity and it's already much cheaper. It doesn't boast the same battery life, but it also doesn't come with quite the price tag. At £359.00, it's more than £160 cheaper than the new non-solar Garmin Edge 1040, which could be spent on a coach for three months, who would do a much more thorough job of telling you how to train.
Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.