Garmin Edge 1030 Plus In-Depth Review


Like with most Garmin products that tack on a ‘Plus’ designator, the changes from the Edge 1030 to the Edge 1030 Plus aren’t earth-shattering. In fact, the Edge 1030 received overwhelmingly more changes last summer when it got a massive firmware update sweep of features from the then new Edge 530 & Edge 830. Still, this unit does have some minor new features that fill in some of the cracks. And ultimately, if you were looking to get an Edge 1030, then just like with a new model year Apple product, you’ll take the minor changes over not.

Still, the Edge 1030 Plus changes aren’t throwaway either. There’s now a streamlined setup process that’ll migrate your old Edge settings and sensors (even from an Edge 1000), plus you’ve now (finally) got free global detailed maps for anywhere you go (except Asia). And the LiveTrack now will actually show your route to the friends/family you share it with. Plus lots of minor changes like re-routing quick-select options when you go off-course, and increased storage up to 32GB. And finally, new daily suggested structured workouts based on your training load.

All of which you can get the full details on in one super efficient video by hitting play below:


What’s new:

Now, I’m going to actually split this list in two. Mostly because it’s plausible (likely in fact), that someone looking at an older Edge 1030 review (even mine), might assume that a bunch of the features of the Edge 1030 Plus aren’t on the base Edge 1030. In fact, they are. They were just added last summer, nearly two years after the Edge 1030 came out.

So, this first list is the differences compared to a fully updated Edge 1030 unit today. In other words, if you just compared an up to date Edge 1030 to the new Edge 1030 Plus, what’s different:

– Now black instead of white: Just like the Bontrager Edge 1030 was, except this says Garmin instead of Bontrager
– *New setup routine: Sensors from your older Garmin unit are automatically imported for you on first use
– *New setup routine: Ride profiles and data fields from your older Garmin unit are automatically imported for you
– Now includes detailed maps for *ANYWHERE* you travel to (all regions…except Asia), free, inclusive of Topo data.
– Now includes Trailforks app pre-loaded (with full Trailforks data sets included)
– Now includes ForkSight, previous Edge 1030 update didn’t include this specifically
– New daily on-device workout suggestions based on training load
– New pause-route option (when you go freestyle off a course)
– New off-course re-route selection options
– *LiveTrack will now show the course/route that you’re on to your friends/family (whoever you’ve shared the route to)
– Onboard Storage size has been increased from 16GB to 32GB
– MicroSD card expansion slot has been removed (since you’ve got tons of on-board storage space)
– Beeper/Chirper an eff-ton louder (and a bit different)
– Up to 48 hours of GPS-on run time in a basic configuration, 36 in mid, and 24-hours in high navigation/sensor configuration
– New display/touchscreen to match that of the technology used on the Edge 830
– New Sony GPS Chipset (to match most other Garmin devices since 2019)

*These features will come to the existing Edge 1030, Edge 530, and Edge 830 later this year in Q4.

Now everything else you know about the Edge 1030 remains the same. The above are the only differences I’ve been able to find (or were told about).

As for the setup routine transfer bits, that’s actually pretty interesting. I’ll dig into it below, but in short, recent firmware updates for virtually every mid-range or higher Garmin Edge unit made in the last 6 years supports this. Specifically the Edge 1000, 1030, 520, 520 Plus, 530, 820, and 830.

Next though, we’ve got what is roughly the differences since release of the Edge 1030. This is somewhat of a throw-away list for users familiar with these products, but if you’re again coming from older reviews, it’s useful to understand what was added to the Edge 1030 from the Edge 530/830 series last year (via free firmware updates):

– Added ClimbPro: Automatically shows how much distance/elevation remains for each climb on route
– Added Mountain Bike Metrics: Shows Grit, Flow, and Jump details on both unit and Garmin Connect
– Added Heat Acclimation: Will automatically take into account heat/humidity for performance/recovery metrics
– Added Altitude Acclimation: Will automatically take into account (high) elevation for performance/recovery metrics
– Added Training Plan API support: This includes a redesigned structured workout execution page
– Added Courses API Support: This allows course/route downloads automatically from partners like Strava & Komoot
– Added Hydration/Nutrition Smart Alerts: When using a course/route, it’ll automatically figure out how much water/calories you should be taking
– Added Hydration/Nutrition Tracking: It allows you to record this data in ride summary screens and log it on Garmin Connect
– Added Performance Power Curve: This shows you your mean maximal power over different durations/time frames (like many training sites)
– Added Bike Alarm Feature: Used for cafes/bathroom stops, emits loud alarm if bike is moved
– Added ‘Find my Edge’ feature: Automatically record exact GPS location on your phone if Edge is disconnected (in case unit pops off)
– Added Training Plan Weather/Gear Tips: Basically tells you to HTFU when it’s cold out

Again, nothing on that list there is new to the Edge 1030 Plus. It’s simply making it clear that all those features that you might see marketed as Edge 1030 Plus features are also there on the Edge 1030 already today.

Ok, with that sweeping overview done, let’s dive into how to use it.

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